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Articulatory classification of English consonants and vowels.


Every sound belongs to one or other of two main classes known as vowels and consonants. Vowels are classified by lack of obstruction to the air stream, defused muscular tension, weak air stream. C.- articulatory obstruction to the air steam, muscular tension concentrated in the place of obstruction, strong air stream.

The particular quality of a c. depend on the work of the vocal cords, the position of the soft palate and the kind of noise that results when the tongue or the lips obstruct the air passage. An articulatory obstruction may be complete (is formed when the organs of speech come in contact with each other and the air passage through the mouth is blocked) or incomplete (an articulatory organ is held close to a point of articulation without blocking the air passage).

C. are classified according to the main principles:

To the type of obstruction

Occlusive – produce with the complete obstruction to the air stream they may be noise (plosives) [p, b, t, k, g] and affricates and sonorants [m, n, ŋ]

Constructive – produced with an incomplete obstruction and may be noise or fricatives [v, f, s, z, h, g] and sonorant median [w,, r, j] and lateral one [l]. In pronunciation of which the air passage is rather wide, the air passing through the mouth doesn’t produce audible friction and tone prevails over noise.

To the manner of production the noise

Plosives – the organs of speech form a complete obstruction, which is than quickly released with plosion [p, b, t, d, k, g]

Affricates – the speech organs forms a complete obstruction, which is than released so slowly, that considerable friction accursed at the point of articulation [ch, dz]

Fricatives - the speech organs forms a incomplete obstruction and the air passes producing audible friction [b, f, ð, Ө, s, z, h, g]

Sonorance: 1)occlusive the speech organs forms a complete obstruction, which is not released. The soft palate is lowed and the air escapes through the nasal cavity [m, n, ŋ]

2) constrictive: a) median – the air escapes without audible friction over the central part of the tongue the sides of the tongue being raised [w, r, j]

b) lateral – the tongue is pressed against the alveolar ridge or the teeth and the sides of the tongue are lowed, leaving the air passage open between tem [l].

To the active organs of speech

Labial – 1) bilabial - articulated by the 2 lips [p,b]

2) labial-dental – articulated with the low lip, against the upper teeth [v,f]

Lingual – 1) fore lingual – articulated by the blade of the tip or by the tip against the upper teeth or alveolar ridge: a) apical [ð, Ө, t, d, l, n, s, z] b) cacuminal [r]

2) medium lingual –articulated with the front of the tongue against the hard palate [j]

3) back lingual – articulated by the front of the tongue against the soft palate. [k, g, ŋ]

Glottal – produced in the glottis [h]

To the point of articulation







To the work of the vocal cords



To the force of articulation

Relatively strong (forties)

Relatively weak (lenis)

English voiced c are lenis, English voiceless c are forties

Date: 2015-12-11; view: 5324

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