The Articulation Of Consonants


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A brief description of the articulation of English consonants

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The Articulation Of Consonants

  1. 1. The articulation of consonants
  2. 2. In order to articulate a consonant we should consider the following: <ul><li>In the human larynx there are two flaps of elastic, connective tissue know as vocal cords, which can open and close which produce the sound </li></ul><ul><li>Consonants can be voiced or unvoiced (voiceless) i.e. a sound is voiced when the vocal cords are open and unvoiced when the vocal cords are close and the air which passes makes them vibrate. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Consonants are formed by interrupting, restricting or diverting the airflow in a variety of ways. There three ways of describing the consonant sounds: <ul><li>The manner of articulation </li></ul><ul><li>The place of articulation </li></ul><ul><li>The force of articulation </li></ul>
  4. 4. The manner of articulation <ul><li>It refers to the interaction between the various articulators and the air stream; i.e. The air is temporally trapped and then released. </li></ul><ul><li>The manners of articulation are: </li></ul>NASAL PLOSIVE APPROXIMANT LATERAL FRICATIVE AFFRICATIVE
  5. 5. MANNER OF ARTICULATION Vocal organs come near to each other, but no so close as to cause audible friction , e.g. /r/- /w/ APPROXIMANT A partial closure is made by the blade of the tongue against the alveolar ridge. Air is able to flow around the sides of the tongue, e.g. /l/ LATERAL A closure is made by the lips, or by the tongue against the palate, the soft palate is lowered, and air escapes through the nose, e.g. /m/- /n/ NASAL When two vocal organs come close enough together for the movement of air between them to be heard, e.g. /f/- /v/ FRICATIVE A complete closure is made in the mouth and the soft palate is raised. Air pressure increases behind the closure, and is released more slowly than the plosive, e.g. / tʃ/- /ʤ/ AFFRICATIVE A complete closure is made in the vocal tract and the soft palate is also raised. Air pressure increases behind the closure and is then released explosively, e.g. /p/ and /b/ PLOSIVE
  6. 6. The following table summarizes the main movements of the various articulators
  7. 7. PLACE OF ARTICULATION The gap between the vocal cords is used to make audible friction, e.g. /h/ Glottal The back of the tongue is used against the soft palate, e.g. /k/- / ŋ/ Velar The front of the tongue is raised close to the palate, e.g. /j/ Palatal The blade ( or tip) of the tongue is used just behind the alveolar ridge, e.g. / ʧ/-/ʤ/ Palato-alveolar The blade of the tongue is used close to the alveolar ridge, e.g. /t/- /s/. Alveolar The tongue tip is used either between the teeth or close to the upper teeth, e.g. / θ / ð/ Dental Using the lower lip and the upper teeth, e.g. /f/- /v/ Labio-dental Using closing movement of both lips, e.g. /p/ - /b/ Bilabial
  8. 8. FORCE OF ARTICULATION <ul><li>Fortis or strong: it is related to unvoiced sounds , which require a more forcefully expelled airstream. </li></ul><ul><li>Lenis or weak: it is related to be voiced sounds . </li></ul><ul><li>The force of articulation is very difficult to define and measure </li></ul>
  9. 9. TABLE OF ENGLISH CONSONANTS Place of Articulation Front Back Manner of Articulation f p θ s ʧ ʃ k h t Unvoiced phonemes are on shaded background. Voiced phonemes are normal Glotal Velar Palatal Palato-alveolar Alveolar Dental Labio-dental Bilabial w j r ( w ) Approxi mant l Lateral ŋ n m Nasal Ʒ z ð v Fricative ʤ Affricative g d b Plosive