TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH

TOPIC 1: ORGANS OF SPEECH
Dr. Imran Ho

INTRODUCTION
Language is primarily used for communication. The communication is either in the oral or written form. In the oral form, all human language involves the production of speech sounds. In this unit, you will learn how these sounds are produced and the mechanism involved in speech production. The study of the production of human speech sounds is known as articulatory phonetics. In this chapter you will be introduced to the main organs involved in the production of speech sounds. In particular, the chapter look at the places of articulation, the manner of articulation and the aspect of phonation (also known as voicing) in the production of various of speech sounds. Be prepared to look into the mirror with your mouth open wide to identify some of the places where the speech sounds are made.

OBJECTIVES
At the end of this chapter, students should be able to: 1. list the main organs of speech; 2. identify the various places of articulation; 3. identify the different manner of articulation; and 4. describe the process of phonation.

OUM

1

palatals and palato-velars) soft palate – (velar) glottis (glottals) MANNER OF ARTICULATION Nasals Plosives or Stops Fricatives Sibilants Affricates Approximants (also called Semivowels or Liquids) Lateral approximants PHONATION voiced voiceless 1. all English sounds are are egressive pulmonic in nature that involves air stream flowing out from the lungs. Different sounds are produced as a 2 OUM . Although the speech sounds of some languages involves the movement of air into the lungs or an ingressive pulmonic air stream.TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH MIND MAP Error! ORGANS OF SPEECH Speech production mechanism Airstream mechanism Articulatory anatomomy PLACE OF ARTICULATION lips (bilabials) lips and teeth (labio-dentals) interdental (tongue and teeth) alveolar ridge hard palate palatoalveolars.1 ORGANS OF SPEECH How are human speech sounds different from other kinds of sounds? The production of a speech sound begin with the expulsion of air from the lungs through the mouth or the nose. This is known as an egressive pulmonic air stream.

The speech organs or the articulatory anatomy include the following: [as you read each description. The upper teeth and the lower teeth can also be brought together to obstruct the air stream producing a hissing sound. locate the organs in Figure 1] Figure 1: The human speech organs [source:http://www. The palate stretches from the region just behind the upper front teeth right (the dental ridge) to the back of the mouth (uvula).The roof of the mouth or the palate is the convex part forming the upper bounds of the mouth. The region immediately after OUM 3 . 1. The teeth on the upper jaw are known as the upper teeth. The palates can be divided into continuous parts. Lips – This is the protrusion at the front of the mouth. Palate . Teeth – Our teeth are located on both the upper jaw and the lower jaw. These obstructions are governed by different articulators or organs of speech. Sounds produced involving the teeth are dental sounds. Sound produced as a result of obstruction of air stream with both lips are known as bilabial sounds 2.TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH result of the obstruction to the airstream. while those on the lower jaw are called the lower teeth. The sounds produced that involve the upper teeth ridge on the roof of the mouth are called interdental or dental alveolar 3.

6.TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH 4.The surface of the tongue can be divided into three parts namely the tip of the tongue. Larynx – The larynx is the upper part of the windpipe. In the next section we shall investigate how the different places of articulation allow us to produce different consonant sounds. g. Let us examine in detail the different places of articulation. The second is the nasal tract (the nasal cavity) where air flows out through the nose. The articulatory organs also forms two tracts (imagine them us tubes) where the airstream have to pass through before they are released. the front of the tongue. The epiglotis closes the windpipe when we swallow. The place of articulation refers to the point where the outward flow of air is obstructed. We can group sounds together according to their place of articulation. Sounds which are made with obstruction to the air flow are called consonant sounds. they vibrate and produce a buzzing noise. Epiglottis – The epiglottis is at the end of our throat and functions to protect what we eat or drink from going into the lungs. When the vocal cords are brought close together during the sound production. b. c. The first is called the oral tract which starts from the pharynx right through to the oral cavity formed between the palate and the tongue. 5. The ending part of the soft palate is called the uvula. The tip of the tongue is the front end of the tongue which at rest touches the back of the front teeth. Tongue . Different human speech sounds are produced as a result of the obstruction of airstream by the speech organs above. the dental is the hard palate which is a concave part of the roof of the mouth and forms the central part of the roof of the mouth.2 PLACES OF ARTICULATION The speech sounds are produced mainly based on the place of articulation. When the vocal cords are apart. The soft palate or the velum is located in the back part of the roof of the mouth. Sounds produced with the vocal cords vibrating are called voiced sound. Vocal cords . and the back of the tongue. 1. d. f. It serves to protect the vocal cords. air passes through the larynx without any vibration and sound produced without such vibrations in the vocal cords is a voiceless sound.The vocal cords consists of two lip-like elastic membranes that are located in the larynx. 7. while the back of the tongue at rest is directly below the soft palate. e. Sounds which are released through the nose are called nasal sounds. The front of the tongue at rest is directly below the hard palate. Study the diagram below and note the different points or place of articulation: a. It is sometimes refer to as the voice box. bilabial labio-dental dental interdental alveolar palato-alveolar palatal 4 OUM .

j.htm] The table below shows where the diffent places of articulation are for the different English consonants.sil. retrolex velar uvular glottal Figure 2. Place of articulation the lips (bilabials) Sounds /b/ as in ban /p/ as in pan /m/ as in man /w/ as in win /f/ as in fan /v/ as in van // as in thin // as in then /t/ as in tin /d/ as in dine /n/ as in nine /s/ as in son /z/ as in zone /l/ as in live /r/ as in row // as in ship // as in measure // as in cheap // as in judge /j/ as in you  /k/ as in coat Your own examples the lips and teeth (labiodentals) Interdental (tongue and teeth) the alveolar ridge (that part of the gums behind the upper front teeth -alveolar articulations) the hard palate palatoalveolars. the soft palate – (velar) OUM 5 .1 : Sagital cross section of the human head [This diagram is from http://www. k. Think of other words that have the same place of articulation and write them in the last column.TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH h. i. palatals and palatovelars). Say the words out loud and note the place of articulation.org/mexico/ling/glosario/E005ci-PlacesArt.

Nasals sounds are produced when there is a total blockage of the oral cavity and the sound instead goes through the nasal cavity. Identify the various points of articulation from the front to the back of the mouth in the following diagram.TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH the glottis (glottals). The obstruction could either be complete or partial and the airstream may flow out of the nasal cavity (in which case the velum is lowered) or the oral cavity (in which case the nasal cavity is blocked by raising the velum). 1. b. Plosives or stops sounds are produced when the airstream passing through the oral cavity is obstructed before it is released. 6 OUM . The different manners of articulation of English sounds can be categorised as follows: a. Exercise 1 1. For example the /k/ and /g/ are velar sounds as opposed to /b/ and /p/ which are bilabial sounds. /g/ as in goat // as in sing /h/ as in hat We can group different sounds together according to their place of articulation.3 MANNER OF ARTICULATION The manner of articulation refers to how the airstream is obstructed and the closure of the cavity as the air stream flows through.

Think of other words that have the same manner of articulation and write them in the last column. Sounds /m/ as in met /n/ as in net /p/ as in pat /b/ as in bat /t/ as in tap /d/ as in dad /k/ as in kid /g/ as in get /f/ as in fin /v/ as in van // as in thin // as in then /s/ as in sin /z/ as in zoo // as in thin // as in measure // as in cheap // as in judge /w/ as in win /r/ as in row /j/ as in year /l/ as in live Your own examples Fricatives Sibilants Affricates Approximants or Semivowels or Liquids Lateral approximants We can group different sounds together according to their manner of articulation. The // in cheap and the // in judge are the only two affricates in English. Sibilants are a special type of fricatives where the airstream is shaped by the form of the tongue.4 PHONATION Phonation or voicing refers to the vibration (or the lack of vibration) of the vocal cords in the production of a particular sound. Fricatives are produced when there is continuous friction at the place of articulation. and /j/. namely /w/. The table below shows the diffent manners of articulations of the English consonants. The English /l/ is a special type of approximant formed at one or both sides of the tongue and is called a lateral approximants.TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH c. Approximants. (also called semivowels or liquids) are produced through partial obstruction of airstream. A sound is OUM 7 . Say the words out loud and note the manner of articulation. Manner of articulation Nasals Plosives or Stops. e. /r/. English has three approximants. 1. A sound can either be voiceless or voiced. For example the /m/ and /n/ are nasal sounds as opposed to /b/ and /p/ which are plosive sounds. Affricates are produced through a combination of a plosive that is immediately followed by a fricative in the same place of articulation. d.

When a sound is voiceless. Thus the airstream flows out without obstruction and there is no vibration of the vocal cords. The space between the vocal cords is also called the glottis. The place of articulation refers to the position of the articulators when a sound is produced. the soft palate – (velar) the glottis (glottals). they have the same manner and place of articulation but only differ in their phonation. Fricatives 8 OUM .TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH voiceless or fortis when the vocal cords do not vibrate during its articulation. The manners of articulation of the English sounds include Nasals Plosives or Stops. the manner in which the sound is produced and the phonation involved. it is modified by the shape of the articulators. Most consonants of English are paired in a voiced and voiceless contrast. The manner of articulation refers to the degree of obstruction of the airstream when the sound is produced. The places of articulation for English sounds include the lips (bilabials) the lips and teeth (labio-dentals) the interdental (tongue and teeth) the alveolar ridge (that part of the gums behind the upper front teeth -. Hence. When a sound is voiced the glottis is closed because vocal cords are brought together. As the airstream passes through the various tracts. different speech sounds are produced depending on the position or place of the articulators. and to the cavity or flow of the airstream (nasal or oral cavity). the glottis is opened and the vocal cords are apart. If the vocal cords do vibrate.alveolar articulations) the hard palate palato-alveolars. Phonation Voiceless /p/ as in pat /t/ as in pat /k/ as in pat /f/ as in fin // as in thin /s/ as in sin // as in thin Voiced /b/ as in bat /d/ as in pat /g/ as in gate /v/ as in van // as in then /z/ as in zoo // as in measure SUMMARY The primary organ of speech involves the upper respiratory tract – from emission of air from the lungs through the larnyx and out through the mouth or the nose. the sound is called voiced or lenis. In other words. palatals and palato-velars). The airstream that flows through causes the cords to vibrate.

What is a fortis sound? 5. row. It is sometimes refer to as the voice boxserving to protect the vocal cords. When the vocal cords are closed and together. two lip-like elastic membranes located in the larynx the ending part of the soft palate palate velum vocal cords uvula - TEST 1 Instructions: Answer all the questions below in 15 minutes. shop. What are the three (3) aspects of an articulatory description? 2. the convex part of the roof of the mouth forming the upper bounds of the mouth the part of the palate located in the back part of the roof of the mouth. gap. 4. What is the major part of the articulatory anatomy involved in phonation? 3. GLOSSARY egressive pulmonic air stream glottis larynx air stream which flows outwards from the lungs the gap between the vocal folds or vocal cords the upper part of the windpipe or traches. Provide an example of an English sounds produced at these points and manner of articulation (i) Palatal Nasal (ii) Alveolar Stop OUM 9 . map. Give the place of articulation for the initial sounds of these words – ten. the glottis is opened with the vocal cords being apart. The airstream flows through without obstruction and there is no vibration of the vocal cords.TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH Sibilants Affricates Approximants (also called Semivowels or Liquids) Lateral approximants The phonation of a sound is defined by the state of the glottis. When the sound is voiceless. 1. the airstream causes them to vibrate and produced voiced sounds. pen.

/p/ and /b/? (3 marks) (d) Describe the manner of articulation of each of these sounds. 2001. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Peter. Oxford: Blackwell. Oxford: Blackwell Fromkin. An Introduction. (4th.). Ladefoged. (a) Explain the difference between a nasal sound and a plosive sound. 1999. Peter. 1999. Philip. Roach. Edn. English Phonetics and Phonology. 10 OUM . Victoria et al. A Practical Course. (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (v) // as in judge /v/ as in van /g/ as in gate /r/ as in row /z/ as in zoo (10 marks) [Total 20 marks] REFERENCES Carr. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. A Course in Phonetics. New York: Harcourt Brace. Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. 1999. International Phonetic Association. (4 marks) (b) Describe the process of producing a voiced sound (3 marks) (c) What are the similarities and differences between the sounds /m/. English Phonetics and Phonology.TOPIC 1 ORGANS OF SPEECH TEST 2 Instruction: Answer all the questions below in 30 minutes. (2000) Linguistics: an Introduction to Linguistic Theory.