Articulation is the process by which sounds, syllables, and words are formed when your tongue, jaw, teeth

, lips, and palate alter the air stream coming from the vocal folds.

the place of articulation (also point of articulation) of a consonant is the point of contact, where an obstruction occurs in the vocal tract between an active (moving) articulator (typically some part of the tongue) and a passive (stationary) articulator (typically some part of the roof of the mouth). Along with the manner of articulation and phonation, this gives the .consonant its distinctive sound

A place

of articulation is defined as both the

active and passive articulators. For instance, the active lower lip may contact either a passive upper lip (bilabial, like Template:IPA) or the upper teeth (labiodental, like Template:IPA). The hard palate may be contacted by either the front or the back of the tongue. If the front of the tongue is used, the place is called (retroflex); if back of the tongue ("dorsum") is used, the place is called "dorsal-palatal", or more commonly, .just palatal

1- one way to make different sounds is to vary the state of the glottis, making either a voiced or voiceless sound. 2- Another way is to vary the shape of the vocal tract. Imagine the vocal tract as a tube, through which air passes. If this tube is simply open, the airflow creates a sound. But if you alter the shape of that tube, the airflow moves differently, making a different sound.

When we make speech sounds, one thing that is happening is that we are varying the shape of the vocal tract, making the sound different. For example, say the sound [t]. To make this sound, you are raising the tip of your tongue behind your teeth and then lowering your tongue. When you do this, the air builds up behind the closure made by your tongue and teeth and is then released. When the air is released by the tongue, the air travels outward through a small area, just from the teeth to outside the mouth.
Now say the sound [k]. To make this sound, you are bringing your tongue up to the velum, closing off the airflow, and then lowering your tongue to release the air. This time, when the air is released, it travels through a larger area before leaving the mouth. This space is from the velum to the lips. Thus, the sound made by the airflow is different from that made by [p].

The following diagrams illustrate the amount of space in the vocal tract available for [t] and [k]:



As the diagrams show, there is more space in the vocal tract for the release of air in the production of [k] than for [t]. Therefore, two distinct sounds are produced.

1- nasal area 2- oral area 3- Phareangeo-laryngeal area

There is a clear cut natural division between the nasal area and the others, constituted by what medical people sometimes call the NASAL PORT and phoneticians ; the Velic opening – that is the orifice between the nasal cavity and the pharynx , which is controlled by the valvular soft palate, or velum.

The oral and pharyngeo-laryngeal cavities are parts of a single `bent tube` which runs from the lips to the glottis. It is convenient to treat them as separate, because the division between them is an imaginary plane cutting the oro-pharyngeal tube at the extreme back of the mouth in such a way that the entire roof of the mouth and the entire tongue back to the tip of the epiglottis are in the oral area.

The nasal area consists of the nasal cavity, which is a complex but immobile cavity, coated with mucus membrane.
In nasals, the velum is lowered (the nasal port open) to allow air to pass through the nose (technically a place, but generally considered as a manner of articulation), and it can be called nasalized too.

How can we distinct between nasal and nasalized?
In nasal consonants there is a complete closure some –where in the mouth, so that the air flows out or in solely through the nose.

Typical examples of nasal sounds are the nasal consonants [ m, n, n] of English and other languages.

In nasalized sounds the mouth is not completely closed, and the air , in consequence, can flow simultaneously through both mouth and nose. *Typical example of nasalized vowels of French [ ] as in [un bon vin blance].

Nasal resonance:- when the nasal cavity is
coupled into the vocal tract by opening the nasal port it adds a resonance chamber. However, it is incorrect to regard nasal consonants as resonant, they are approximants.

Nareal articulation

Velic articulation

Nareal articulation is produced at the nostrils
or nares.
The nasal [m] is produced with no turbulence when voiced, but with nareal turbulence when voiceless

( nareal approximant). Nareal fricative:- caused by a further
narrowing of the nostrils, which convert a nareal approximant into a nareal fricative. For example [m1] voiced nareal fricative and is unknown in any language. Voiceless nasals (fricative approximant) are known in some languages.

Velic articulation:- takes place at the ` nasal
port`, that is between the upper or rear side of the soft palate and the back of the pharynx.

Velic stop:- need not to be mentioned in
phonetic transcription because it is normally unknown, that a stop sound like [ b, p, t, d] involves two stops (oral stop, velic stop).

place of articulation
* bilabial labiodental* interdental* * Dental * Alveolar * Alveopalatal * Palatal * Velar * uvular * pharyngeal * glottal

It consists of the entire cavity of the mouth, bounded at the front by the lips, and merging at the rear with the pharyngeal cavity. The articulations here are produced by juxtapositions of articulators attached to the lower jaw (lower lip and tongue) with other articulators attached to the upper jaw (upper lip, palate).

Lower articulators

Upper articulators

We have here Upper and Lower Articulators. The Upper ones consist of the upper lips and the entire roof of the mouth and of the soft palate. The lower articulators consist of the lower lip and the lower teeth and the whole of the tongue

Upper lip: when it is at rest part of it is lying against the upper teeth, and part of it is free. There is an inner and an outer part of the upper lip.

* Upper teeth:- the upper teeth lie behind the upper lip.
* Alveolar ridge:- it is a hard ridge immediately behind. * Palate:- behind the alveolar ridge.

* Soft palate (velum):- the point where the roof of the mouth cease to be hard and becomes soft.

The Labial Divisions :
Labial : The Upper lip Tectal :The whole roof of the mouth

The Labial subdivisions :
Exolabial :the outer Endolabial :the inner

The tectal Divisions ;
Dentalveolar :upper teeth and ridge back Domal :the whole concave dome of the hard and soft palate behind the aveolar ridge

The term Tectum : is used to refer to the whole roof of the mouth excluding a little more than we call the dentalveolar region . Kemp Malone (1932)

Upper oral articulatory locations
1- Labial (upper lip) division

Outer (exolabial)


2- Tectal division (the whole roof of the mouth)
Domal Region Dentalveolar Region
palatal DENTAL
ALVEOLAR sub zone


prepalatal post alveolar palatal velar post velar uvular sub zone

* Lower lip
* Lower teeth

* The tongue: it is highly mobile and of
variable shape, and also has few clear-cut natural divisions.

Rim the forward edge of the tongue

Tip (apex) the central point.

Blade (lamina):

Dorsum the rest of the upper surface of the tongue back to the tip of the epiglottis

front (antero)

back (postero)

root {radix}

In formal analytical designation of oral articulations we conjoin a prefix signification a lower articulator to a term signifying an upper articulator. For example; {labio-dental} refers to the lower lip and upper teeth. {drosum- palatal} refers to the tongue surface and hard palate. * You should form all the articulations described here both silently, and with a pulmonic egressive air-stream.

Also called bilabial or even simply labial. This term covers all articulations formed by juxtaposition of lower and upper lip [ p, b, m, w].

- Exolabio-exolabial: juxtaposition of more external

part of lower and upper lip. As the bilabial nasal [m] , stop [p, b] and fricative [ ].

- Exolabio-endolabial: the lower lip pushes upwards
against the inner part of the upper, which is somewhat lifted and pushed forward. Stop, nasal and fricative articulations can be formed this way, but they are not known to occur regularly in any language.

- Endolabio-exolabial: the lower lip is some what
pushed forward so that its inner part makes contact with the outer part of the upper lip. Stops, nasal and fricative are possible, but not known to occur.

- Endolabio-endolabial:

both lower and upper lips are pushed forward somewhat, so that their inner parts are juxtaposed. This articulator produces the rounded back vowels.

There are articulations between the lower lip and the teeth and /or alveolar ridge. The lower lip can make contact with the teeth edges and back and possibly the alveolar ridge, but no further back than that.

- Endolabio-dental: the lower lip is lifted slightly
so that its inner surface makes contact with the edges and perhaps a little of the front of the upper teeth. For example; [f], [v] sounds of English and many languages.

- Exolabio-dental: it is of two types: outer half of
lower lip against edges of the upper teeth, and outer half of lower lip against backs of upper teeth.

- Exolabio-alveolar: by starting from an
exolabio- dental stop (with lower lip against backs of upper teeth) and sliding the lower lip a little further back one can produce exolabio-alveolar stop, fricative approximant. These are not known to occur in any language.

1. Exo-labial, 2. Endo-labial, 3. Dental, 4. Alveolar, 5. Postalveolar, 6. Pre-palatal, 7. Palatal, 8. Velar, 9. Uvular,

10. Pharyngeal, 11. Glottal, 12. Epiglottal, 13. Radical, 14. Postero-dorsal, 15. Antero-dorsal, 16. Laminal, 17. Apical, 18. Sub-apical
(See Below)

Consonants that have the same place of articulation, such as alveolar [n, t, d, s, z, l] in English, are said to be homorganic. A homorganic nasal rule is a case where the point of articulation of the initial sound is assimilated by the last sound in a prefix. An example of this rule is found in language Yoruba, where ba, "hide", becomes mba, "is hiding", while sun, "sleep", becomes nsun, "is sleeping".

In nasals, the velum is lowered to allow air to pass through the nose (technically a place, but generally considered as a manner of articulation) In laterals, the air is released past the tongue sides and teeth rather than over the tip of the tongue. English has only one lateral, /l/, but many languages have more than one, e.g. Spanish written "l" vs. "ll"; Hindi with dental, palatal, and retroflex laterals; and numerous Native American languages with not only lateral approximants, but also lateral fricatives and affricates. Some Northeast Caucasian languages have five, six, or even seven lateral consonants

M A student 2010
Sana’a university

VELAR CLOSURE: ARTICULATORY • CLOSURE K,g Velic closure: velum raised to close • the nasal cavity for the production of oral sounds Velaric closure: type of initiation • Glottalic : initiation type • Glottal : articulatory type •

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