USU 1320: History and Civilization
©Damen, 2013
A Guide To Writing in History and Classics
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Voiced consonants involve the use of the vocal chords. It's easy to grasp the distinction between "voiced" and "unvoiced" if you hold your hand over your vocal cords and say "pah" (unvoiced) and then "bah" (voiced). There's more vibration in your throat when you make voiced consonants (b/d/g) than unvoiced (p/t/k). Aspirated consonants, on the other hand, utilize more breath than unaspirated consonants, the difference audible in the f in fizz (aspirated) as opposed to that in fit (unaspirated). Thus, the Great Consonant Shift apparently began when Germanic speakers started aspirating more emphatically.

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