Phonetics and Phonology
Prepared by Zhian Fadhil Asaad
?What is Articulation
Is the general term in Phonetics for the physiological
movement involved in modifying an airflow to
produce the various types of speech sounds, using
the Vocal Tract above the Larynx.
• In phonetics and phonology, articulation is
movement of the tongue, lips, jaw, and other speech
organs (the articulators) in order to make speech
Sounds are classified in terms of their Place and
Manner of Articulation in the vocal apparatus (the
:Types of Articulation
Several types of Articulation can be distinguished. Most
sounds are produced with a single point of articulation.
Sounds may be produced involving:
• Two points of articulation (Co articulation) in which case
two articulatory possibilities emerge( the two points of
articulation both contribute equally to the identity of the
sound (double articulation or co ordinate co articulation)).
• One point of articulation may be the dominate one (the
primary (co) articulation, the other having a lesser degree
of stricture (the secondary (co) articulation). examples of
secondary articulation are: PALATALIZATION,
Human vocal tract
The places of articulation used in English
Bilabial: Both lips come together, as in p, b or m.
Labiodentals: Lower lip contacts upper teeth, as
in f or v.
Dental: Tongue tip or tongue blade (part just behind
the tip) contacts upper teeth, as in the two th sounds
(e.g.. thin vs.. this).
Alveolar: Tongue tip contacts the alveolar ridge (the
gums just behind the teeth), as in t, d, n, or l; or
tongue blade contacts the alveolar ridge, as in s or z.
Post alveolar: Tongue blade contacts the post
alveolar region behind the alveolar ridge, as
in sh, ch, zh, or j; or tongue tip contacts the post
alveolar region, as in r.
Palatal: Middle of tongue approaches or contacts
the hard palate, as in y.
Labiovelar: Back of tongue approaches the soft
palate and lips also come close to each other, as in w
Laryngeal: No obstruction anywhere but in the vocal
cords down in the throat, as in h.
The place of articulation is clearest for consonants,
where there is generally a significant amount of
obstruction. For vowels, part of the tongue moves
closer to the roof of the mouth, but there is still
enough of a gap that it is difficult to precisely specify
the location of maximum obstruction. As a result,
vowels are normally described by height and front
ness of the tongue (as well as amount of rounding of
the lips) rather than by a specific place of articulation.
Velar: Back of tongue contacts the soft palate (or
"velum"), as in k, g or ng.
Manner of articulation
"Manner of articulation" refers in general to
characteristics of the speech organs other than the
location of the obstructions). describes how the
tongue, lips, jaw, and other speech organs are
involved in making a sound. There are multiple
parameters involved here, and different types of
each. The manners of articulation used in English
• 1. Degree of stricture: How much blockage occurs at
the primary articulation (the place of greatest
obstruction). The types in English are:
• Stop: Complete blockage followed by sudden
release, as in t, d, p, b, k, g. The blockage of air
causes air pressure to build up; when released, the
air bursts out, giving these sounds their characteristic
Fricative: Incomplete blockage but still close enough
to cause significant airflow turbulence, as
in f, v, s, z, sh, zh and both th sounds. The turbulence
causes the characteristic noisiness of fricatives.
Affricate: Complete blockage followed by a gradual
release, resulting in a combination of stop + fricative,
as in ch and j.
Approximant: Incomplete blockage and far enough
apart that airflow is smooth, as in r, y, w, and h.
2. Alternative air flow: The air travels a path other
than down the center of the mouth:
Nasal: Complete blockage of air out the mouth but air
can freely flow out the nose, as in m, n, ng.
Lateral: Complete blockage of air by the center of the
tongue but air can flow out the sides of the tongue, as
3. Dynamic movement of the tongue:
Flap: Very brief complete blockage of air, in a way
that doesn't cause any pressure buildup or release
burst, as in the American English pronunciation
of t and d between vowels.
Trill: Multiple brief complete blockages in a row,
caused by the active articulator (e.g. the tongue)
vibrating. A trilled r is well known in Spanish and also
occurs as the normal pronunciation of r by
some Scottish English speakers.
Approximants, nasals, laterals, flaps, and trills are
as sonorant or resonates (which
vowels); all of them have in common the fact that
there is smooth airflow throughout the consonant,
and they are nearly always voiced
Manner of articulation
What is The International Phonetic
an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based
primarily on the Latin alphabet . It was devised by
standardized representation of the sounds of oral
language. The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign
language students and teachers, linguists, SpeechLanguage Pathologists, singers, actors, constructed
language creators, and translators.
:IPA is designed to
only those qualities of speech that
are distinctive in oral language: phonemes,
separation of words and
•Represent additional qualities of speech such
as tooth gnashing, lisping, and sounds made
with a cleft palate, an extended set of symbols
called the Extensions to the IPA may be used .
IPA symbols are composed of one or more elements
of two basic types, letters and diacritics. For example,
the sound of the English letter ⟨t⟩ may be transcribed
in IPA with a single letter, [t], or with a letter plus
diacritics, [t̺ʰ], depending on how precise one wishes
to be. Often, slashes are used to signal broad
or phonemic transcription; thus, /t/ is less specific
than, and could refer to, either [t̺ʰ] or [t] depending on
the context and language.
The general principle of the IPA :
is to provide one letter for each distinctive sound
speech segment )although this practice is not followed if
the sound itself is complex).This means that it does not
normally use combinations of letters to represent single
sounds, the way English does with ⟨sh⟩, ⟨th⟩ and ⟨ng⟩, or
single letters to represent multiple sounds the way ⟨x⟩
represents /ks/ or /ɡz/ in English. There are no letters that
have context-dependent sound values, as ⟨c⟩ does in
English and several other European languages, and
finally, the IPA does not usually have separate letters for
two sounds if no known language makes a distinction
between them, a property known as "selectiveness.
Among the symbols of the IPA, 107 letters
represent consonants and vowels, 31diacritics are used
indicate suprasegmentl qualities such as length, tone,
stress, and intonation.
The Production of Speech Sound
How can we produce speech?
It must be said that speech does not start in the lungs.
It starts in the brain and it is, then, studied by
Psycholinguistics. After the creation of the message and
the lexico-grammatical structure in our mind, we need a
representation of the sound sequence and a number of
will be executed by our speech
organs to produce the utterance. So, we need a
phonetic plan of and a motor plan
Igoay Rivière, 1994: 590)
After this metal operations we come to the physical
production of sounds. Speech, then, is produced by an
air stream from the lungs, which goes through the
trachea and the oral and nasal cavities.
It involves four processes: Initiation,
phonation, oro-nasal process and articulation.
The initiation process is the moment when the
air is expelled from the lungs. In English,
speech sounds are the result of “a pulmonic
egressive air stream”. (Giegerich, 1992)
although that is not the case in all languages
ingressive sounds). The phonation process
occurs at the larynx. The larynx has two
horizontal folds of tissue in the passage of air;
they are the vocal folds. The gap between
these folds is called the glottis.
The glottis can be closed, Then, no air can pass,or it can
have a narrow opening which can make the vocal folds
vibrate producing the “voiced sounds”. Finally, it can be
wide open, as in normal breathing, and, thus, the
vibration of the vocal folds is reduced, producing the
“voiceless sounds”. After it has gone through the larynx
and the pharynx, the air can go into the nasal or the
oral cavity. The velum is the part responsible for that
selection, Through the oro-nasal process we can
differentiate between the nasal consonants (/m/, /n/, /
ŋ/) and other sounds.
Finally, the articulation process is the most obvious one: it
takes place in the mouth and it is the process through
which we can differentiate most speech sounds. In the
mouth we can distinguish between the oral cavity, which
acts as a resonator, and the articulators, which can be
active or passive: upper and lower lips, upper and lower
teeth, tongue (tip, blade, front, back) and roof of the mouth
(alveolar ridge, palate and velum). So, speech sounds are
distinguished from one another in terms of the place where
and the manner how they are articulated.
(Fernando Trujillo, English Phonetics and Phonology)
Vowel and Consonant
Vowels are sounds in which there is no obstruction to
the flow of air as it passes from the larynx to the lip.
It is a sound in which there is a continuous vibration of
the vocal cords and the air stream is allowed to escape
from the mouth in an unobstructed manner, without
The International Phonetic Alphabet identifies seven
different vowel heights:
•close vowel (high vowel)
•open vowel (low vowel)
How do we distinguish the different vowel
Vowel sounds can be distinguished from each other by
WHICH PART of the tongue is involved (front, central,
back) and by HOW HIGH the tongue is when the sound
is produced (high, mid, low)
IPA Symbols for vowel phonemes
i: /bi:/ bee
ʌ /bʌs/ bus
Ɔ /pƆ t/ pot
U: /nU:n/ noon
З: /bЗ:d/ bird
eI /peI/ pay
əU /rəUd/ road
e /pen/ pen
æ /mæn/ man
Ɔ : /spƆ :t/ sport
u /ful/ full
a: /ka:/ car
ə /əbaut/ about
aI /baI/ buy
aU /kaU/ cow
eə /heə/ hair
Iə /fIə/ fear
Ɔ I /bƆ I/ boy
Uə /pUə/ poor
In phonetics and
phonology: a semivowel (or glide)
is a sound, such as English /w/ or /j/, that is phonetically
similar to a vowel sound but functions as the syllable
boundary rather than as the nucleus of a syllable.
Semivowels, by definition, contrast with vowels by being
non-syllabic. In addition, they are usually shorter than
"A consonant is a sound made by a partial or complete
closure of the vocal tract."
There are 21 consonant letters in the written alphabet (B, C, D, F,
G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y, Z), and there are 24
consonant sounds in most English accents. . . . Because of the
erratic history of English spelling there is no neat one-to-one
In a phonetic description,
vowels from consonants in terms
of how they
are articulated in the vocal tract,
associated patterns of acoustic energy”.
(David Crystal, 2006)
(David Crystal.2003,A Dictionary of Linguistics & Phonetics,5th ed.,
• David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English
Language. Cambridge University Press, 2003
• (David Crystal, How Language Works. Overlook Press, 2006)
•Peter Roach,2000,English Phonetics and Phonology, 3 rd ed, UK,
Fernando Trujillo, English Phonetics and Phonology)