A semiplosive is a phoneme that is produced with a partial plosive or stop closure, but does not result in a full release of the closure like in regular plosives. It can be considered as a intermediate between a stop consonant and a fricative. Semiplosives are found in certain languages and are characterized by a brief pause during the articulation.

Characteristics of Semiplosives:

  • Partial closure: Semiplosives are produced by forming a partial closure in the oral cavity, restricting airflow.
  • No complete release: Unlike plosives, semiplosives do not have a complete release of the closure after the buildup of air pressure.
  • Intermediate sound: Semiplosives have qualities of both stops and fricatives, with a brief pause and slightly turbulent airflow.
  • Distinctive features: They often have distinct places of articulation, similar to plosives, and may be voiced or voiceless.

Examples of Semiplosives in language:

In English, the /w/ sound in words like “wet” and “well” can be considered semiplosive. In Korean, the consonant represented by the letter ㄲ (ssangkiyeok) is a semiplosive. These examples illustrate the usage of semiplosives in different languages.