Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Manner of articulation

We have already talked about the place of articulation. But for each place the tongue touches, we can do something different. That's what the manner of articulation is about: different ways we use to generate sounds.

Stricture (or constriction degree) is how close the speech organs approach one another. Sounds can be classified as
  • stop consonants: with occlusion, or blocked airflow
  • fricative consonants: with partially blocked and therefore strongly turbulent airflow
  • approximants: with only slight turbulence
  • vowels: with full unimpeded airflow
Affricates often behave as if they were intermediate between stops and fricatives, but phonetically they are sequences of stop plus fricative. Sibilants are distinguished from other fricatives by the shape of the tongue and how the airflow is directed over the teeth. Taps and flaps are similar to very brief stops. Trills involve the vibration of one of the speech organs. Nasal airflow may be added as an independent parameter to any speech sound. Laterality is the release of airflow at the side of the tongue.

Here, an exercise. Also make sure to visit this interactive site.

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