Place and manner of articulation, complete guide

In phonetics, consonants are classified according to their place or articulation, which refers to the location in the vocal tract where the sound is produced. The different places of articulation for consonants are:

Bilabial: Sounds produced by bringing both lips together, such as /p/, /b/, and /m/.

Labiodental: Sounds produced by placing the lower lip against the upper front teeth, such as /f/ and /v/.

Dental: Sounds produced by placing the tongue against the upper front teeth, such as the “th” sounds in “thin” and “this”.

Alveolar: Sounds produced by placing the tongue against the alveolar ridge, which is the ridge behind the upper teeth, such as /t/, /d/, /s/, /z/, /n/, and /l/.

Palatal: Sounds produced by raising the body of the tongue to the hard palate, which is the roof of the mouth behind the alveolar ridge, such as /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /j/, and /tʃ/.

Velar: Sounds produced by raising the back of the tongue to the soft palate or velum, such as /k/, /g/, and /ŋ/.

Glottal: Sounds produced by constricting or closing the glottis, which is the space between the vocal cords, such as /h/ and the glottal stop.

Understanding the place of articulation of consonants is important for accurately pronouncing and transcribing words in different languages.

In phonetics, consonants are also classified according to their manner of articulation, which refers to the way in which the sound is produced by the articulators (tongue, lips, etc.). The different manners of articulation for consonants are:

Plosives: Sounds produced by a complete closure of the airstream, followed by a sudden release of air, such as /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, and /g/.

Fricatives: Sounds produced by a partial closure of the airstream, causing turbulent airflow and a hissing or buzzing sound, such as /f/, /v/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, and /ʒ/.

Affricates: Sounds that begin as plosives and end as fricatives, such as /tʃ/ (as in “church”) and /dʒ/ (as in “judge”).

Nasals: Sounds produced by lowering the soft palate to allow air to flow through the nose, such as /m/, /n/, and /ŋ/ (as in “sing”).

Approximants: Sounds produced by a narrowing of the vocal tract, but not enough to create turbulence, such as /j/ (as in “yes”) and /w/ (as in “we”).

Lateral approximants: Sounds produced by a partial closure of the airstream at the center of the mouth, allowing air to flow out over the sides of the tongue, such as /l/ (as in “love”).

Trills and taps: Sounds produced by a rapid vibration or tapping of one articulator against another, such as the “rolled r” in Spanish and Italian.

Understanding the manner of articulation of consonants is important for accurately pronouncing and transcribing words in different languages. It also helps to distinguish between different English accents and dialects, as well as to compare the sounds of English to those of other languages.

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