What are the features of classifying consonants?

There are four distinctive features for classifying consonants:

1. Place of articulation

2. Manner articulation

3. Position of the soft palate

4. Position of The vocal cords

1. Place of articulation

LBilabial: the consonant is produced by the upper and lower lips: /m/ /p/ /b/ /w/.

2.Labio-dedntal: the consonant is produced by the lower lip and the upper teeth: If/ /v/

3.Dental:the consonant is produced by the tip of the tongue against the back of the upper teeth: /e4 / 4.Alveolar: the consonant is produced with tip of the tongue against the teeth ridge: /t/ /d/ /z/ In/ in /1/ /5/ 5.Post-alveolar: the consonant is produced with the centre of the tongue against an area behind the alveolar Ridge: /17 /3/ /4/ /Ef/ I 71,/

6.Palatal: the consonant is produced with the back of the tongue raised to the hard palate: / j / ‘7.Velar: The consonant is produced with the back of the tongue against the soft palate: /k/ /G/ /5,/ 8.Glottal:/ the consonant is produced by narrowing down the vocal cords. / h

2.Manner of articulation

1.Plosives:so called because of the ‘Explosion’ made in their production:/ p b t d k g/

2.Fricatives:here the air stream is not blocked but simply narrowed to produce a hissing sound:/s z h F V G ad 3.Affricates:which begin as plosives but the organs of speech separate slowly:! t f /

4.Nasals:air goes out through the nasal cavity:/m n/

5.Lateral: air escapes down the sides of the tongue:

6.Approximants (liquids or semi-vowels): the articulators are only in approximant contact, so not sufficiently close to produce a real consonant: /w j r /

3.Position of the soft palate:

In all nasal consonants the soft palate is lowered so that air is pushed out of the nose where as in oral consonants the soft palate is raised so that air goes out through the mouth.

4.,Position of the vocal cords

Some consonants are pronounced using the voice (the vocal cords vibrate); they are called voiced or fortis consonants (/b d g…/). Others are pronounced without voice and they are referred to as voiceless or lenis consonants(/p t k../).

 

Place of articulation

Front Back

bilabial

Labio-
dental

dental

alveolar

Post-
alveolar

palatal

velar

glottal

Plosive

 

pb

fv

6′ ‘

td

sz

.S’  3,

1~ f ,t3i

 

kg

h

Fricative

Affricate

 

 

 

 

Nasal

m

 

 

n

 

 

21

 

Lateral

 

 

 

I

 

 

 

 

Apjyroximant

w

 

 

t,

r

j

 

 

Table of English consonant phonemes

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