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Consonants Summary

Consonants summary chart From our discussion of the naming convention for consonants, we see that any consonant can be summarized in terms of a tripartite description that indicates its voicing, place of articulation and manner of articulation. For example, /p/ would be described as a…

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Naming Convention for Consonants

Consonants naming convention During your reading of the various descriptions of English consonants you may have noted a pattern in the way each consonant sound is described. By convention each consonant is described in relation to three parameters, in the following order: voicing place of…

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Approximants

Approximants = near closure with friction Our description of consonant sounds has highlighted the different ways in which the free passage of air through the vocal apparatus may be impeded. So far we have discussed just two types of closure. The first is complete closure and…

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Affricates

Affricates = plosive manner + nasal manner All of the consonant sounds described so far are produced with either a complete obstruction of the airflow (plosives and nasals) or a narrowing of the mouth passage (fricatives). One pair of consonants, however, is produced…

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Fricatives

Fricatives = turbulent airflow Fricative consonants are formed by a narrowing of the mouth passage by two articulators, such as the lips, teeth, tongue or palate, coming into near contact. The air forcing its way through the narrow gap creates turbulence or friction, hence the name…

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Nasals

Nasals = through the nasal cavity As noted, when a person makes any plosive sound, the soft palate is raised so that it touches the back of the throat above the pharynx. This prevents air escaping through the nose. All air is, therefore, directed out…

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Plosives

Plosives = stops Plosive consonants are oral sounds, i.e. the soft palate is raised so that air from the lungs cannot pass upwards into the nasal cavity. The air can, therefore, only escape through the oral cavity. All plosives are produced by a complete obstruction of…

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