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Consonants can be described in terms of :

• State of vocal cords Voiced (+), voiceless (-)

• Place of articulation
• Central or Lateral articulation
• Oral (velic closure) or Nasal (lowered) sounds
• Manner of articulation
Voiced / Voiceless

• [+ voice]:
b, d, g, m, n, ŋ, v, ð, z, ӡ , r, l, w, j
• [- voice]:
p, t, k, f, θ, s, ʃ, h
Places of Articulation
• Bilabial (Lt: labia): made with two lips (pie, buy,
• Labiodental: lower lip and upper front teeth
(fie,vie; fan, van)
• Dental (Lt: dentes) : tongue tip or blade and upper
front teeth (thigh, thy)
• Alveolar: tongue tip or blade and the alveolar ridge
(tie, die, nigh, sigh, zeal, lie)
• Retroflex: tongue tip and the back of the alveolar
ridge (rye, row, ray)
• Palato-Alveolar: tongue blade and the back of the
alveolar ridge → /ʃ/ in (shy, she, show), / ʒ / in
measure, / tʃ / in (choke)
• Palatal: front of the tongue and hard palate (you)
• Velar: back of the tongue and soft palate (hang)
Pl aces of Arti cu lati on
• To form consonants, the air stream must be
obstructed in some way.
The primary articulators that cause obstruction
: lips, tongue tip and blade, back of tongue.
• Speech gestures using the lips → labial
• Those using the tip or blade of the tongue →
coronal articulation
• Those using the back of the tongue →
dorsal articulation
•Complete closure of the articulators involved so that
the air stream cannot escape through the mouth.
Two types of stop:
•Oral stop : articulatory closure in the mouth; the soft
palate is raised so that the nasal tract is blocked off.
includes :
bilabial closure (pie,buy),
alveolar closure (tie,dye),
velar closure (kye,guy)
•Nasal stop : the air is stopped in the oral cavity; soft
palate is down; the air can go out through the nose.
bilabial closure (my);
alveolar closure (nigh);
velar closure (sang)
Fri cative
• Close approximation of two articulators;
the air stream is partially obstructed;
turbulent airflow is produced.
• Hissing sounds may be likened; the wind
whistles around the corner.
• Labiodental [f, v] in (fie,vie)
• Dental [θ, ð] in (thigh, thy)
• Alveolar [s, z] in (sigh, zoo)
• Palato-alveolar [ ʃ, ӡ] in (shy, measure)
The higher-pitched sounds with a more obvious
hiss (sigh, shy) are called sibilant
(C entral) A pproxim ant

• One articulator is close to another, but

without the vocal tract being narrowed to
such extend that turbulent is produced.
• [ j, w, r ]
• The first sound in “ yacht “ the front of the
tongue is raised toward palatal area of the roof
of the mouth, but it does not come close enough
for fricative sound to be produced.
• “ we “ (approximation between the lips in the
velar region)
• “ raw “ (approximation in the alveolar region)
Later al (Appr oxim an t)
• Obstruction of the air stream at a point along the
center of the oral tract, with incomplete closure
between one or both sides of the tongue and the
roof of the mouth.
• “ lie ‘ : the tongue touches near the center of the
alveolar ridge. The air flows out freely, over the side
of the tongue. So, there is no stoppage of the air,
and not even any fricative noises
• The consonants in words such as : lie, laugh are
alveolar lateral approximant.
Trill (Roll):

• It refers to any sound made by the rapid

tapping of one organ of articulation against
• Several dialects of English use an alveolar
rolled [r], as in Welsh and Scots
• rye, raw
Tap (flap)

• It refers to any sound produced by a single

rapid contact with the roof of the mouth by
the tongue, resembling a very brief
articulation of a STOP .
• e.g. writer and rider
• The production of some sounds involves
more than one of manner of articulation.
• [ tʃ ] in cheap, [ dӡ ] in judge
• In cheap, at the beginning, the
tongue tip makes contact with the
back part of alveolar ridge to form
a stop closure, then there is a
fricative at the same place of
Phonetics transcription
• The best-known system of transcribing the
sounds of speech is the International Phonetic
Alphabet (IPA).
• This system of transcription attempts to
represent each sound of human speech with a
single symbol.
• These symbols are enclosed in brackets [ ]
to indicate that the transcription is phonetic and
does not represent the spelling system of a
particular language.
Phonetics transcription
• p,t,k,b,d.g,m,n,ŋ,f,v,θ,ð,s,z,ʃ,ӡ,l,w,r,j,h,ʔ
• i:, ı, ʌ, e, æ, u, u: α, ә, ɜ: ɑ:, ɒ(ɔ), ɔ: