Ballistic Syllable
Get Ballistic Syllable essential facts below. View Videos or join the Ballistic Syllable discussion. Add Ballistic Syllable to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Ballistic Syllable

Ballistic syllables are a phonemic distinction in Otomanguean languages: Chinantec and Amuzgo. They have been described as characterized with increased sub-glottal pressure (Mugele 1982) or laryngeal abduction (Silverman 1994). The acoustic effect is a fortis release of the consonant, a gradual surge in the intensity of the vowel, followed by a rapid decay in intensity into post-vocalic aspiration. They may thus be a form of phonation.

Non-ballistic syllables are, by contrast, called "controlled."

See Chinantec of Ozumacín for examples.


  • Mugele, R. L. (1982). Tone and Ballistic Syllables in Lalana Chinantec. Ph.D. dissertation. Austin: University of Texas.
  • Silverman, Daniel (1994). "A Case Study in Acoustic Transparency: [spread glottis] and Tone in Chinantec". Proceedings of NELS. Amherst: University of Massachusetts. 24.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Music Scenes