A phonological constraint which is found in a number of the world’s languages. Obstruents must be voiceless (1) immediately preceding a voiceless sound (2) finally in some domain, usually the word. Details differ somewhat from language to language.
Some of the languages displaying the constraint are: Dutch, German, Maltese, Polish, Russian, Tok Pisin. The voiceless nature of the obstruents involved is often not reflected in the orthography of the language. For instance, German bunt and Bund are both pronounced bʊnt.
Also called Auslautverhärtung.