The difference between /b/ and unaspirated /p/ What is the difference between /b/ and unaspirated /p/? They sound exactly the same to me. Tks!
Aug 23, 2014 12:24 PM
Answers · 14
In general, P is not voiced, B is voiced. If you say 'Paper', the vocal cords stop vibrating on the second 'p'. However, if the word was 'paber', the vocal cords would vibrate all the way through the word.
August 23, 2014
They sound the same if not pronounced properly. Bee and Pee, or Barrow and Pharaoh?
August 23, 2014
If it is a problem understanding the difference, a session with a teacher will make it very clear for you.
August 23, 2014
/b is a main board on 4chan and other image boards. it's a board where people can discuss any subjects. /p is a board for photographs
August 23, 2014
Topo morto gave you a good answer; [b] is voiced, whereas [p] is unvoiced. If the sound is voiced, the vocal chords vibrate, if it isn't, they don't. These two ([b] and [p]) are a voiced pair. That means that your mouth is the same when you pronounce those two (it goes for any voiced pair). How your lips are positioned, your tongue. Here your tongue is low and relaxed, your lips completely close for a brief moment before opening which altogether gets you that [b] or [p] sound. The difference is in your larynx - when pronouncing a voiceless sound, it's relaxed and doesn't really move; when pronouncing a voiced sound, it's a bit tense and in a somewhat lower position. Try listening them here: [b] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2c/Voiced_bilabial_plosive.ogg [p] http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/51/Voiceless_bilabial_plosive.ogg Now, if you can't hear the difference at all, then I'm afraid that can't really be helped. But don't be discouraged right away, it could be that you simply haven't yet become aware of it, because you don't "expect" there to be a difference or something similar, something "psychological". Another voiced pair is [s] and [z]. Mind that it's not the same as letters, as letter "s" can be pronounced in various ways in English, for example, words "salt", "measure", "busy". So, [s] as in "salt", "snake" and [z] as in "zebra" or "busy". If you can hear the difference between those two, you should also be able to hear it between [b] and [p], and other voiced pairs (at least eventually, as I said). Try listening someone pronouncing those words or pronounce them yourself. Do you hear the difference? And one more thing, you mention aspiration. That something else, and both [b] and [p] can be aspirated.
August 23, 2014
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