17. Three Tutorials on Voicing and Plosives

     Below are links to three excellent tutorials by Mark Huckvale of the University College London that will help you understand how plosives work, and about voice onset time, or VOT.

     (1) Start with the tutorial on the basics of voicing here:


     You should go through the tutorial several times, until you have thoroughly mastered the material in it. You will know some of the more basic material; pay special attention to whatever is new. Also take some long close looks at the illustrations of the larynx so their appearance and structure become increasingly familiar to you. (Note: the sound files may not work.)

     Test yourself: What are 'periodic' sounds? Aperiodic sounds? How does a voiced aperiodic sound differ from a voiceless aperiodic sound?

     (2) Next is the Tutorial on Plosives (Part 1) at:


     Test yourself: What is a passive articulator? An active articulator? What are the three stages of a plosive? Give the IPA symbols for the voiced and voiceless versions of stops with the following points of articulation: dental, alveolar, bilabial, retroflex, palatal, velar, uvular.

     Here is a local audio file of the plosives at 7 places of articulation, voiceless and voiced, introduced in the tutorial.

     (3) Third and last is the Tutorial on Plosives: VOT and aspiration. (The sound files seem to work OK on this one.)


     Test yourself: What is zero VOT? Negative VOT? Positive VOT? Describe voiced, unvoiced and aspirated plosives in French, English and Mandarin.

     Try making waveforms of the sounds covered in this tutorial with WASP, and see how closely they correspond to those in the tutorial.

     Now on to another sound toy...

     Next: Playtime: Virtual Theremin (and a little about frequency and amplitude)

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