SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

The classification and description of speech sound I Consonants of English


The classification and description of speech sound I  Consonants of English

 Speech sounds are very broadly divided into two categories: Vowels & Consonants.
When we produce some sounds, air escapes through the mouth with friction and these sounds are called ‘consonants.

Any consonants can be described by three ways.
  1. According to the position of glottis they are considered whether they are voiced or voiceless.  
  2. According to the stricture involved in articulation, Plosive, affricate, nasal, fricative, etc. are labels given to consonants.
  3. According to their places of articulation. Consonants can be described as Bilabial, Velar, Alveolar, Post-Alveolar, Labio-dental, Dental, Palato, Palatal, Glottal

            There are twenty-four distinctive consonants in English (RP).  Six of the English Consonants are plosives, two are affricates; three are fricatives; one is lateral and three are approximants. Let’s discuss the consonants in Detail.

Plosives Consonants:-
            A plosive Sound is produced with a stricture of complete closure and sudden release. During their articulation, the soft palate is raised, thereby shutting off the nasal passage. When the oral closure is released, the air escapes with a small explosive noise. i.e. /p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/ are plosive sounds. Following Abercrombie we maw diagrammatically represent the articulation of a plosive consonant thus:
            During the articulation of /p/ the two lips come into contact with each other and the tightly closed lips affect the oral closure. Vocal cords are kept wide apart. So /p/ is a voiceless bilabial plosive.  /b/ is articulated like /p/ except that during the articulation, vocal cords vibrate. So /b/ is a voiced bilabial plosive.
            During the articulation of /t/ the tip of the tongue makes a firm contact with the alveolar ridge Vocal cords are kept wide apart. Thus /t/ is a voiceless alveolar plosive. /d/ t is articulated like /t/ except that vocal cords vibrate. /d/ is a voiced alveolar plosive.
            During the articulation of /k/, the back tongue comes in firm contact with soft palate. Vocal cords are kept wide. When the back of the tongue is removed suddenly from the soft palate. Thus /k/ is a voiceless velar plosive. /g/ is articulated like /k/ except that vocal cords vibrate. Thus /g/ is a voiced velar plosive. They can occur initially, medially and finally in the words
/p/-Pack, sport, ships   /b/-Bag, subject, mob  /t/-Till, certain, put                 
/d/-doll, medal, pad.    /k/-Cap, skin, back      /g/-Game, sugar, big.

Affricate sounds:-
            Affricates are consonants sounds produced with a stricture of complete closure and slow release i.e. /d3/, /t ¦/ are affricative sounds. During the articulation of / t ¦/ the tip of the tongue make a firm contact with alveolar ridge and the hard palate. Both separated slowly and air escapes with friction. Vocal cords are wide apart. So / t ¦/ is a voiceless palato-aveolar affricate consonant. /d3 is like / t ¦/ except that the vocal cords vibrate. So it a voiced Palato-alveolar affricate consonant. Example: / t ¦/-chess, picture, snatch  /d3/- joy, enjoy, age

Nasal sounds:-
            A nasal sound is articulated with a stricture of complete oral closure. During their articulation, soft palate is lowered thereby shutting of oral passage so air comes through nasal passage. i.e. /m/, /n/, /J/ are three distinctive nasal consonants in English.  
            During the articulation of /m/, the two tips make a firm constant with each other, thereby soft palate is lowered. The vocal cords vibrate producing voice. So /m/ is a voiced bilabial nasal.
            During the articulation of /n/, the tongue touches to alveolar ridge and the soft palate is lowered. The vocal cords vibrate producing voice. So /n/ is a voiced alveolar nasal consonant.
            During the articulation of /J/, the back of the tongue touches soft palate. And the soft palate is lowered. The vocal cords vibrate producing voice. So /J/ is a voiced Velar nasal consonant.
/m/-minimum, complete, shame   /n/-native, snail, sudden   /J/---, finger, young

Fricatives sounds:-
            Fricatives sounds are articulated with a stricture of close approximation. i.e. /f/, /v/, /q/, /ð/. /d/, /s/, /z/, /¦/, /3/ /h/ are nine distinctive fricatives consonants in English. .
            During the articulation of /f/ the lower lip is brought very near the upper front teeth in such a way that there is a very narrow gap between them. The lung-air escapes through this narrow gap with audible friction. Vocal cords are wide apart. So /f/ is voiceless libio-dental fricative. /v/ is like /f/ except that the vocal cords vibrate producing voice. It is voiced libio-dental fricative.
            During the articulation of /q/ the tip of the tongue makes a light contact with the upper front teeth. The vocal cords are wide apart. So /q/ is voiceless dental fricative. /ð/ is like /q/ except that Vocal cords vibrate producing voice. So /ð/ is voiced dental fricative.
            During the articulation of /s/ the tip and blade of the tongue are brought near the teeth-ridge. The vocal cords are wide apart. So /s/ is a voiceless alveolar fricative. /z/ is like /s/ except that Vocal cords vibrate producing voice. So /z/   is a voiced alveolar fricative consonant.
            During the articulation of /¦/ and /3/ an active articulator the tip and blade of the tongue and the front of the tongue are brought very near the teeth ridge and hard palate. So /¦/ is a voiceless palato alveolar. /3/ is a voiced palato alveolar. During the articulation of /h/ the air from the lungs escapes through a narrow glottis with audible frication. /h/ is thus a voiceless glottal fricative. Example:   /f/-Fat, reflex, safe,       /v/- Visit, never, save.  /q/-Think, either, earth 
/ð/-That, other, write   /s/- seek upset, truss    /z/-zone, suzerain, utilize.
/¦/-Shape, commission, cash,  /3/-measure.     /h/ Hat, behind, ----

Laterals sounds:-
            A lateral sound is articulated with a stricture of complete closure in the centre of the vocal tract. /l/ is lateral sound. During the articulation of /l/ the soft palate is raised so as to shut off nasal passage of air. The tip of the tongue makes a firm contact with the alveolar ridge. Vocal cord vibrates producing voice. /l/ is thus a voiced alveolar consonant. Example:/l/-last, slam, soil.

Approximants sounds:-
            Approximant Sounds are articulated with a stricture of open approximation. There are three approximants in English:-  /r/, /j/, /w/.
            During the articulation of /r/ the tip of the tongue goes near the teeth ridge. The vocal cords vibrate producing voice. So /r/ a voiced post alveolar approximant.
            During the articulation of /j/ the front tongue is raised up to between front close and front half-close. The vocal cords vibrate producing voice. So /j/ is voiced palatal approximant.  
            During the articulation of /w/, lower lips and Soft palate goes up shutting down nasal. Lips are rounded and vocal cords vibrate. So /w/ is a voiced lebio-velar approximant.
Example: /r/- reach, dry  /j/- year, sure   /w/-wait, sweet.