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Language skills in English December 1, 2012

Phonetics: A study of the sounds of human speech Areas of study: Articulatory Phonetics Acoustic Phonetics Auditory Phonetics

Articulatory Phonetics
A concept is first formulated in the speakers brain and then its linguistic codification is transmitted to the speech organs

A movement of these organs create disturbance in the air The air stream from lungs provide the energy for the production of speech

Description of consonants
Nature of air stream
Pulmonic Egressive or ingressive

Voiced or voiceless Soft palate open or closed Place of articulation

Manner of articulation

Place of articulation
Bilabial: articulated by two lips, /p,b,m,w/ Labio-dental: lower lip against the upper teeth, /f,v/ Dental: tip of the tongue against the upper teeth, /, d, dh/ Alveolar: blade of the tongue against the teeth-ridge, /t, d, s, n, l/ Post alveolar: tip of the tongue against the back of the teeth-ridge, /r/ Retroflex: tip of the tongue curled back against the front of the hard palate, /, /

Palato-alveolar: blade of the tongue against the teeth-ridge, with the front of the tongue raised towards the hard-palate, /, , , / Palatal: front of the tongue against the hard palate, /j/ Velar: back of the tongue against the soft palate, /k, g, /

Glottal: obstruction or narrowing between vocal cords, /h/

Manner of articulation
Plosive: complete closure of air and then air is released with explosion, /p, b, t, d, k, g/ Affricate: complete closure of air but air is released slowly, /, / Nasal: complete closure of air, soft palate lowered and air escapes through nasal cavity, /m, n/ Flap: tip of the tongue taps against the teeth-ridge, /r/ Lateral: closure in the middle and air escapes through sides, /l/ Fricative: narrow passage of air between two organs and friction produced when air released, /f, v, h, , /

Consonants p b t d k g

pen, copy, happen back, baby, job tea, tight, button day, ladder, odd key, clock, school get, giggle, ghost


t d f v

church, match, nature judge, age, soldier fat, coffee, rough, photo view, heavy, move thing, author, path

this, other, smooth

Consonants s z h m n soon, cease, sister zero, music, roses, buzz ship, sure, national pleasure, vision hot, whole, ahead more, hammer, sum nice, know, funny, sun ring, anger, thanks, sung


light, valley, feel

right, wrong, sorry, arrange

yet, use, beauty, few

wet, one, when, queen

(glottal stop) department, football

Air from lungs released in a continuous stream through the mouth No closure of air passage

No narrowing to cause friction

Vowels e i

kit, bid, hymn, minute dress, bed, head, many trap, bad lot, odd, wash strut, mud, love, blood foot, good, put fleece, sea, machine

Vowels nurse, stir, learn, refer

about, common, standard

thank you, influence, situation

goose, two, blue, group

start, father thought, law, north, war

Dipthongs e a a e face, day, break price, high, try choice, boy goat, show, no mouth, now near, here, weary square. fair, various poor, jury, cure