Phonetics and Phonology 2012.2 consonant sounds
VOICE The level of vibration of the vocal cords determines whether a sound is voiced or unvoiced. If the vocal cords are apart, then air can escape unimpeded. Sounds produced in this way are said to be voiceless. However, if the vocal cords are very close together, the air will blow them apart as it forces its way through. This makes the cords vibrate, producing a voiced sound.
VOICE • /p/ /b/ • / t/ /d/ • /k/ /g/
PLACE OF ARTICULATION • After the air has left the larynx, it passes into the vocal tract. Consonants are produced by obstructing the airflow through the vocal tract. There are a number of places where these obstructions can take place. These places are known as the articulators. • They are: • lips (labial) – e.g. /m/, /b/; • teeth (dental) - e.g. the two th sounds; • alveolar ridge (alveolar) – e.g. /t/, /l/, /n/; • hard palate (palatal) – e.g the letter s in sugar; • soft palate (velar) – e.g. /k/, /g/; • throat (glottal) – e.g. /h/.
MANNER OF ARTICULATION As well as indicating the place of articulation, it is also necessary to determine the nature and extent of the obstruction involved. The type of obstruction is known as the manner of articulation. An example of this can be found by looking at the following words: • nine • dine • line
MANNER OF ARTICULATION • They all begin with voiced, alveolar consonants. Yet, they are all clearly different in both sound and meaning. The kinds of constriction made by the articulators are what make up this further dimension of classification. • There are two kinds of constriction that often occur in English: • plosive • fricative
MANNER OF ARTICULATION • And, there are other less common constrictions: • nasal • lateral • affricate