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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
* 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 Velic
articulation 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
* 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).
Upper articulators
Lower articulators
We have here Upper and Lower
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
* 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
1- Labial (upper lip) division

2- Tectal division (the whole roof of
the mouth)

Domal Region
Dentalveolar Region

prepalatal palatal
velar post velar
post alveolar uvular sub
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 Tip (apex) Blade
the forward the central point. the rest of the upper
surface of the tongue
edge of the tongue
back to the tip of the

front (antero)
back (postero) root
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
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, 10. Pharyngeal,
2. Endo-labial, 11. Glottal,
3. Dental, 12. Epiglottal,
4. Alveolar, 13. Radical,
5. Post- 14. Postero-dorsal,
alveolar, 15. Antero-dorsal,
6. Pre-palatal, 16. Laminal,
7. Palatal, 17. Apical,
8. Velar, 18. Sub-apical
9. Uvular,
(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
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
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 •