In phonetics, a continuant is a speech sound produced without a complete closure in the oral cavity, namely fricatives, approximants and vowels. Approximants and vowels are sometimes called "frictionless continuants". Continuants contrast with occlusives, such as stops, affricates and nasals.
Compare sonorant (resonant), which includes vowels, approximants and nasals but not fricatives, and contrasts with obstruent.
Whether laterals, taps/flaps, or trills are continuant is not conclusive.
- ↑ "continuant" in Bussamann, Routledge dictionary of language and linguistics, 1996
- ↑ "approximant" in Crystal, A dictionary of linguistics and phonetics, 6th ed, 2008
- ↑ Hayes, Bruce (2009). Introductory Phonology. Blackwell. p. 78. ISBN 978-1-4051-8411-3.