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Lecture 2

Consonants 1. Definition 2. Classifications - According to place of articulation - According to manner of articulation - According to voicing 3. Describing consonants 4. Identifying consonants
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/z/ 2 . Definition .Consonants are the sounds in the production of which one articulator moves towards another or two articulators come together.1.: /m/. E. /p/. /v/. /k/. obstructing the air-stream and the air-stream can’t get out freely.g.

Classifications • In order to form consonants.2. consonants can be classified according to the place where the air-stream is obstructed (the place of articulation) and the way in which the air-stream is obstructed (the manner of articulation). 3 . Therefore. the air-stream through the vocal cords must be obstructed in some way.

Classifications 2. According to place of articulation • The place of articulation is the location of the obstruction of the air-stream in the articulation of consonants. 4 . It describes the point at which the articulators actually touch or are at their closest.1. The most important places of articulation for the production of English consonants are listed in the table below.2. • Notes: The terms used to describe the sounds are those which denote the place of articulation of the sounds.

According to place of articulation Places Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palato – alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal Articulators Upper lip + lower lip Lower lip + upper teeth Teeth + tongue Alveolar ridge + tongue Back of alveolar ridge + tongue Join of hard palate & alveolar ridge + tongue Hard palate + tongue Soft palate + tongue Vocal cords 5 Examples .2. Classifications .

Bilabials: are the sounds made with the two lips pressed together or coming together.: b.: e. Dentals: are the sounds which are produced with the tip or blade of the tongue touching the upper front teeth.g.According to place of articulation a. E.g. Classifications .g. E. E.g.2. E. Retroflex: is the sound which is produced with the tip of the tongue curling back towards the back of the alveolar ridge.: c. Labio-dentals: are the sounds which are produced with the lower lip touching the upper front teeth.g.: d. E. Alveolars: are the sounds which are produced with the tip or blade of the tongue touching or approaching the alveolar ridge.: 6 .

: g. Palato . Velars: are the sounds which are produced with the back of the tongue touching the soft palate. E.: 7 . Classifications . E.g.alveolars: are the sounds which are produced with the tongue tip or blade coming close to the area between the back of the alveolar ridge and the front of the hard palate.2.According to place of articulation f. E.: h.g.: i.g.g. Glottals: are the sounds which are produced without the active use of the tongue and other parts of the mouth. E. Palatal: is the sound which is produced with the front of the tongue coming close to the hard palate.

Classifications 2.2.2. According to manner of articulation • Manner of articulation is the way in which the air-stream is obstructed or altered in the production of speech sounds. It describes the types of obstruction caused by the narrowing or closure of the articulators. 8 .

2. air escapes down sides Slight narrowing.According to manner of articulation Movement of Articulators Oral Stop Nasal Fricative Affricate Lateral Approximant Narrowing. air escapes through nose Examples 9 . resulting in audible friction Closure. then slow separation Closure in centre of mouth. Classifications . not enough to cause friction Complete closure Complete closure in the mouth.

2.g.: 10 . Classifications . E. Then the two articulators come apart quickly and the air escapes through the oral tract. There are two kinds of stops: + Oral stops (Plosives): are the sounds which are produced with the air-stream being stopped in the oral cavity and the soft palate is raised blocking off the nasal cavity. Stops: are the sounds in the production of which there is a complete closure of the articulators involved so that the air-stream can’t escape through the mouth.g.According to manner of articulation a. E.: + Nasal stops (Nasals): they are produced with the air-stream being stopped in the oral cavity but the soft palate is down so that the air can go out through the nose.

11 .2. b.g.According to manner of articulation Notes: Although both oral stops and nasal stops can be classified as “stops”. Classifications . E. Fricatives: are the sounds in the production of which two articulators come close together but there is still a small opening between them so the air-stream is partially obstructed and an audible friction noise (a hissing sound) is produced. and the term “nasal” to indicate a nasal stop. the term “stop” itself is almost used by phoneticians to indicate an oral stop.: Notes: Fricatives are continuants consonants which means that you can continue making them as long as you have enough air in your lungs.

g. E. with incomplete closure between one or both sides of the tongue and the roof of the mouth. 12 . Classifications .: g.: Notes: Approximants are called frictionless continuants. Affricates: are the sounds which are produced when a stop is immediately followed by a fricative.2. Lateral: is the sound which is made when the air-stream is obstructed at a point along the centre of the oral tract. Approximants: are the sounds in the production of which two articulators come close together but without the vocal tract being narrowed to such an extent that a friction noise is produced.g. E.g.: d.According to manner of articulation c. E.

3. E. E.g. Voiced consonants: are produced when the vocal cords are vibrating.: b. According to voicing a.: 13 .g. Classifications 2.2. Voiceless consonants: are produced when the vocal cords are not vibrating.

The effect is most noticeable in the case of long vowels and diphthong.According to voicing FORTIS vs. the voiceless consonants are sometimes called ‘fortis’ meaning ‘strong’. Thus. whereas those which are always voiceless are relatively strong. though it does also affect short vowels. It is generally said that those English consonants which are usually voiced tend to be articulated with relatively weak energy.g.: see seed seat 14 . E. Classifications . LENIS A voiced/voiceless pair such as /s/ and /z/ are distinguished not only by the presence or absence of voice but also by the degree of breath and muscular effort involved in the articulation. and the voiceless consonants in opposition are then called ‘lenis’ meaning ‘weak’. Fortis consonants have the effect of shortening a preceding vowel.2.

p + v .tS + Î .palatal alveolar dental plosive velar glottal + b .f +D -T fricative + + - d t z s + g . Classifications bilabial labio dental alveolar palato.2.h affricate nasal + m + n + l lateral approximant + w + r + j 15 .k + Z -S + dZ .

3.: /s/: voiceless alveolar fricative /n/: voiced alveolar nasal /f/: /t/: /T/: /j/: /g/: 16 . Manner of articulation E.g. Voicing b. Place of articulation c. Describing consonants • The description includes the following information: a.

Identifying consonants • A description is given and you have to identify which sound is being described.g. E.4.: voiced velar nasal: /Î/ voiceless palato-alveolar fricative: /S/ voiced bilabial stop: voiced labio-dental fricative: voiced alveolar lateral: voiceless palato-alveolar affricate: voiced dental fricative: 17 .