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有声音・無声音 Voice

有声音(voiced sound)は、声帯を振動させて出す音です。「ggg…」と発音しながらのどをさわると、ふるえているのがわかります。無声音(unvoiced sound)は声帯を振動させないで出す音です。「kkk…」と発音しながらのどをさわっても、ふるえません。日本語には、か行とが行、さ行とざ行、た行とだ行、ぱ行とば行というように、無声音と有声音の違いがあり、意味が変わることがあります。例えば、「がっこう」(school)/「かっこう」(style)、「てんき」(weather)/「でんき」(electricity)などがあります。

A voiced sound is a sound produced while the vocal folds (also called vocal chords) are vibrating. If you touch your throat while pronouncing a 'zzzz' sound, you'll notice that your throat is vibrating. Unvoiced sounds are made without vibrating the vocal folds. When you pronounce a 'ssss' sound, you'll find that your throat doesn't vibrate. Japanese distinguishes many sounds based on voicing, such as 'ka/ga', 'sa/za', 'ta/da', and 'pa/ba', and these differences can make a distinction in meaning. Examples include gakkou (school) vs. kakkou (style), tenki (weather) vs. denki (electricity).

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