• Most speech sounds, and all normal English
sounds, are made with egressive lung air.
• To produce any kind of sound, there must be
movement of air.
• To produce sounds that people today can
interpret as words, the movement of air must
pass through the vocal chords, up through the
throat and, into the mouth or nose to then leave
• Different sounds are formed by different
positions of the mouth—or, as linguists call it,
"the oral cavity" (to distinguish it from the nasal
The two classes of sounds
• Sounds of all languages fall under two
categories: Consonants and Vowels.
• Consonants are produced with some form of
restriction or closing in the vocal tract that
hinders the air flow from the lungs.
• Consonants are classified according to where
in the vocal tract the airflow has been
• This is also known as places of articulation.
• [ʀ][q][ԍ] these sounds are produced by raising
the back of the tongue to the uvula. The 'r' in
French is often a uvular trill (symbolized by
[ʀ]). The uvular sounds [q] and [ԍ] occur in
Arabic. These do not normally occur in
• [h][ʔ] the sound [h] is from the flow of air
coming from an open glottis, past the tongue
and lips as they prepare to pronounce a vowel
sound, which always follows [h].
• if the air is stopped completely at the glottis
by tightly closed vocal chords the sound upon
release of the chords is called a glottal stop