the symbols are a description of what is happening in the vocal tract.
A three term label describes
voicing – whether the vocal cords are vibrating
place – where in the vocal tract
manner – what type of sound
Voicing sssssssssssssssssss vs zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
vocal tract front to back
lips (labial, bilabial)
teeth (dental labiodental
alveolar ridge - behind the top teeth
(hard) palate - the highest part of the roof of the mouth
velum – after the hard palate, where it goes soft again – the raises up and down to block or allow air into the nose.
uvula - the dangly end of the velum
pharynx the area between the back end of the tongue (tongue root) and the back wall of the mouth. this cavity is above the larynx the voice box with the vocal cords
the mouth has to be arranged or moved to produce particular sounds. Quite often it is the tongue that moves and arranges itself at one of the places mentioned.
It may be the tip
the blade wide flat part at the front
the front, sort of the middle
the back or
the root of the tongue that moves
Otherwise, it is the muscular contraction of the muscles of that place of articulation that create the sounds.
manner - stops
Oral stops are created when we block air from being released out of our mouth at some place along the vocal tract.
For example [p] and [b] are stops created with both lips – bilabial stops.
3 stages: closing stage – lips come together
holding stage - held together so air pressure
release stage the lips are moved apart and the air rushes out making the
Stops can be made dental, alveolar, palatal, velar , pharyngeal and glottal (at the vocal cords)
can be voiced and voiceless (Italics appear in English)
p b ʔ
Glottal stop in some dialects of English replaces [t] and is common in Polynesian languages ‘
Oral stops block the air and then release it out the mouth. But if we block the airflow in our mouth we can still release it out our nose, creating a nasal sound.
We let the air out our nose by lowering the velum. This creates a passageway to our nasal cavity and the air is released from our nostrils
the blocking of the oral cavity can occur at the same places: bilabial labiodental dental aleveolar palatal velar and uvular
m ɱ n n ɳ ŋ
If stops create complete blockage, they are related to fricatives,
Fricatives create narrowing but not blocking of the passage of air through the vocal tract.
Fricative refers to the noisiness due to the friction in the narrowed space.
The same places can be used to create the narrowing. labiodental , alveolar , palatal, velar, uvular and glottal
f v s z
Other important fricatives are the post-alveolar ʃ and ʒ
and the interdental fricatives - tongue between teeth θ ð
when a stop meets a fricative
an affricate is born
ch ur ch and j u dg e
the first part of sound is a stop, but in the release phase the articulators do not move away suddenly but move to a position where there is still a narrow gap for the air to move noisily through i.e. fricative
The place of the stop and the place of the fricative are roughly the same: