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Linguistics 110 Zhang/Öztürk/Quinn

Class 4 (9/30/02)

Articulatory Phonetics Continued

(1) Places of articulation of consonants—where the air is blocked.

• Principal parts of upper surface of vocal tract:


lip, teeth, alveolar ridge, hard palate, soft palate (velum), uvula, pharynx wall

Principal parts of lower surface of vocal tract:


lip, tongue tip, blade, front, center, back, root, epiglottis

• Bilabial: lower lip, upper lip.


The bilabial sounds in English are:
They are represented in English orthography by:

• Labiodental: bottom lip, upper teeth.


The labiodental sounds in English are:
They are represented in English orthography by:

• Dental: tongue tip, upper and lower teeth (or behind upper teeth)
The dental sounds in English are:
They are represented in English orthography by:

• Alveolar: tongue tip or blade, alveolar ridge.


The alveolar sounds in English are:
They are represented in English orthography by:

[l] is produced with the tongue raised to the alveolar ridge and the sides of the
tongue down, permitting the air to escape laterally over the sides of the
tongue.

• Palato-Alveolar (post-alveolar): tongue blade, back of the alveolar ridge.


The palato-alveolar sounds in English are: [S], [Z], [tS], [dZ].
They are represented in English orthography by:
[S]:

[Z]:

[tS]:

[dZ]:

• Retroflex: tongue tip curled up, behind alveolar ridge before hard palate.
For some English speakers, orthographic r is a retroflex sound [®].
right, rye, row, hour, hire, air...

• Palatal: tongue center, hard palate.


Orthographic y and ll are sometimes a palatal sound [j].
y—year, young
ll—La Jolla, El Pollo Loco

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• Velar: back of the tongue, soft palate (velum).
The velar sounds in English are:
They are represented in English orthography by:

• Glottals: articulators in the vocal tract stay in relatively neutral position. When
the glottis is open—[h]; when the glottis is closed—[/].
English examples: [h]—house, who, hat.
[/]—button, Latin, bitten.

(2) Manner of articulation of consonants—how the air is blocked.


• Stops: sounds during whose production the air is completely stopped in the oral
tract for a brief period.

(a) [p], [t], [k], [b], [d], [g], [/] are obviously stops.
(b) What about [m], [n], [N]?
(c) What about [T], [D], [S], [Z], [h]?
(d) What about [tS], [dZ]?
(e) What about [l], [r], [j], [w]?

• Fricatives: the air passage during the production of these sounds is very narrow,
causing friction or turbulence.
[T], [D], [S], [Z], [h] are fricatives of English.
[T]: thatch [TœtS]
[D]: that [Dœt]
[S]: sheep [Sip]
[Z]: measure [mEZ„]
[h]: heat [hit]

• Affricates: produced by a stop closure immediately followed by friction.


[tS] and [dZ] are affricates of English.
[tS]: chair [tSE®]
batch [bœtS]
[dZ]: jeep [dZip]
orange [O®´ndZ]

• Trills: tongue tip set in motion by the current of air, written as [r].
Some dialects of English, like Scottish English, have trills.

• Taps and Flaps: tongue makes a single quick contact with the alveolar ridge,
written as [|].
(a) butter, later, latter, ladder, writer, rider...
(b) dirty, sorting, party...

• Approximants: there is some obstruction of the airstream in the mouth, but not
enough to cause real constriction or friction.
(a) [l], [®], [j], and [w] are approximants of English.
(b) [l] is a lateral approximant.

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(3) Summary for American English consonants:
Bilabial Labio- Dental Alveolar Palato- Retro- Palatal Velar Glotta
dental Alveolar flex l
Stop (oral) p b t d k g /
Stop (nasal) m n N
Tap or Flap |
Fricative f v T D s z S Z h
Affricate tS dZ
Approx. w ® j w
Lateral l
Approx.

(4) Tongue position of vowels.


• Vowels in English:
beet [i] boot [u]
bit [I] put [U]
bait [e] boat [o]
bet [E] bore [O]
bat [œ] bomb [A]
butt [ø] sofa [´]

• Position of the tongue in producing [i], [u], and [A].


(a) [i] and [u] are produced with the tongue very high in the mouth.
(b) In [i] the front of the tongue is raised; in [u] the back of the tongue is raised.
(c) [A] is produced with the back of the tongue lowered.

• Other vowels in relation to [i], [u], and [A].


(a) [I] and [U] in bit and put are similar to [i] and [u], but with slightly lowered
tongue position.
(b) [e] and [o] in bait and boat are produced by raising the tongue to a position
about midway between [i] and [A] and between [u] and [A] respectively.
(c) [E] and [O] in bet and bore are slightly lower than [e] and [o].
(d) [œ] in bat is produced with the front part of the tongue lowered. It’s lower yet
than [E] and [O].
(e) [ø] and [´] in butt and sofa are produced with the tongue close to the resting
position, i.e., not high, low, front, or back.

• [u], [U], [o], [O] are produced with the lips protruded. They are called rounded
vowels.

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(5) Summary of American English monophthongal vowels:

Part of the Tongue Involved

Tongue Height Front Central Back

High i beet boot u

I bit put U

Mid e bait boat o Rounded

E bet ´ sofa

ø butt bore O

Low œ bat bomb A

(6) Diphthongs in English.


• [aI] write [raIt] [OI] boy [bOI] [aU] bout [baUt]
bite [baIt] soil [sOI:] brow [braU]

• Sometimes linguists consider the vowels [e] and [o] in English to be


diphthongs [eI] and [oU] respectively.