In general, a speech sound in whose production the flow of air is obstructed at some point in the mouth, throat, or larynx, at least sufficiently to cause audible friction. A speech sound other than a → vowel.
M.E., from L. consonant-, consonans "sounding with," p.p. of consonare "to sound together, agree," from → com- "together," + sonare "to sound;" originally a sound that had to be accompanied by a vowel.
Fr.: son laryngé
A consonant generated in the → larynx with the → vocal cords partly closed and partly vibrating. It is hypothesized that the → Proto-Indo-European language contained some laryngeal consonants (denoted by H).
Fr.: consonne nasale
A consonant produced with air escaping through the → nose. For this to happen the → soft palate is lowered and at the same time the mouth passage blocked at some point, so that all the air is pushed out of the nose. Examples of this sound include the English sounds [m], [n], and [ng].
A → phoneme that is produced following the obstruction of air flow in the → pharynx. The sound arises during the exhalation when the air passage is no longer blocked. English occlusive consonants are [p],[b],[t],[d],[k], and [g]. Same as → stop consonant.
Fr.: consonne occulsive