A term used in the phonetic classification of consonant sounds on the basis of their place of articulation: it refers to a sound made by the back of the tongue against the soft palate, or velum (the ‘veil’ of the palate). Examples in English are [k] and [g], and the -ng- sound [ŋ] as in the sing. Velar fricative sounds are both found in German and Greek, for example, and are transcribed [x] and [ˠ] for the voiceless and voiced types respectively. If the velum is raised to shut off the nasal tract, a velic closure has been made.

Velar sounds are different from velaric sounds. The term ‘velaric’ refers to a quite different mode of speech production: instead of using an airstream mechanism involving the lungs, velaric sounds use air generated by a closure in velar position. The back of the tongue is raised against the velum, and articulations are made further forward by the lips or front parts of the tongue. These sounds are usually called clicks, and have a distinctive role in some languages, such as Zulu. In English, they may be heard in the ‘tut tut’ sound, and in a few other contexts.


语音学按发音部位给辅音分类的术语,指舌后抵住软腭发出的音。英语的例子有[k]、[g]和sing“唱”中的-ng [ŋ]音。软腭擦音见于德语和希腊语及其他一些语言,不带声的和带声的分别记作[x]和[ˠ]。如果软腭上抬关闭鼻腔声道,就形成“软腭闭塞”。

软腭音不同于软腭闭塞音。“软腭闭塞音”指一种独特的语音产生方式:不是用肺部气流机制,而是用软腭位置闭塞产生的气流。舌后上抬抵住软腭,而由很靠前的双唇或舌的前部发音。这类音通常称作吸气音,在有些语言中有区别作用,如祖鲁语;英语中发出tut tut“啧啧”声和其他几种声音时也能听到。