- Manner of articulation
Manners of articulation Obstruent Plosive (occlusive) Affricate Fricative Sibilant Sonorant Nasal Flap/Tap Approximant Liquid Vowel Semivowel Lateral Trill Airstreams Pulmonic Ejective Implosive Click Alliteration Assonance Consonance See also: Place of articulation This page contains phonetic information in IPA, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]
In linguistics, manner of articulation describes how the tongue, lips, jaw, and other speech organs are involved in making a sound. Often the concept is only used for the production of consonants, even though the movement of the articulars will also greatly alter the resonant properties of the vocal tract, thereby changing the formant structure of speech sounds that is crucial for the identification of vowels. For any place of articulation, there may be several manners, and therefore several homorganic consonants.
One parameter of manner is stricture, that is, how closely the speech organs approach one another. Parameters other than stricture are those involved in the r-like sounds (taps and trills), and the sibilancy of fricatives. Often nasality and laterality are included in manner, but phoneticians such as Peter Ladefoged consider them to be independent.
From greatest to least stricture, speech sounds may be classified along a cline as stop consonants (with occlusion, or blocked airflow), fricative consonants (with partially blocked and therefore strongly turbulent airflow), approximants (with only slight turbulence), and 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. Fricatives at coronal places of articulation may be sibilant or non-sibilant, sibilants being the more common.
Trills involve the vibration of one of the speech organs. Since trilling is a separate parameter from stricture, the two may be combined. Increasing the stricture of a typical trill results in a trilled fricative. Trilled affricates are also known.
Nasal airflow may be added as an independent parameter to any speech sound. It is most commonly found in nasal stops and nasal vowels, but nasal fricatives, taps, and approximants are also found. When a sound is not nasal, it is called oral. An oral stop is often called a plosive, while a nasal stop is generally just called a nasal.
Laterality is the release of airflow at the side of the tongue. This can also be combined with other manners, resulting in lateral approximants (the most common), lateral flaps, and lateral fricatives and affricates.
- Plosive, or oral stop, where there is complete occlusion (blockage) of both the oral and nasal cavities of the vocal tract, and therefore no air flow. Examples include English /p t k/ (voiceless) and /b d g/ (voiced). If the consonant is voiced, the voicing is the only sound made during occlusion; if it is voiceless, a plosive is completely silent. What we hear as a /p/ or /k/ is the effect that the onset of the occlusion has on the preceding vowel, as well as the release burst and its effect on the following vowel. The shape and position of the tongue (the place of articulation) determine the resonant cavity that gives different plosives their characteristic sounds. All languages have plosives.
- Nasal stop, usually shortened to nasal, where there is complete occlusion of the oral cavity, and the air passes instead through the nose. The shape and position of the tongue determine the resonant cavity that gives different nasal stops their characteristic sounds. Examples include English /m, n/. Nearly all languages have nasals, the only exceptions being in the area of Puget Sound and a single language on Bougainville Island.
- Fricative, sometimes called spirant, where there is continuous frication (turbulent and noisy airflow) at the place of articulation. Examples include English /f, s/ (voiceless), /v, z/ (voiced), etc. Most languages have fricatives, though many have only an /s/. However, the Indigenous Australian languages are almost completely devoid of fricatives of any kind.
- Sibilants are a type of fricative where the airflow is guided by a groove in the tongue toward the teeth, creating a high-pitched and very distinctive sound. These are by far the most common fricatives. Fricatives at coronal (front of tongue) places of articulation are usually, though not always, sibilants. English sibilants include /s/ and /z/.
- Affricate, which begins like a plosive, but this releases into a fricative rather than having a separate release of its own. The English letters "ch" and "j" represent affricates. Affricates are quite common around the world, though less common than fricatives.
- Flap, often called a tap, is a momentary closure of the oral cavity. The "tt" of "utter" and the "dd" of "udder" are pronounced as a flap in North American and Australian English. Many linguists distinguish taps from flaps, but there is no consensus on what the difference might be. No language relies on such a difference. There are also lateral flaps.
- Trill, in which the articulator (usually the tip of the tongue) is held in place, and the airstream causes it to vibrate. The double "r" of Spanish "perro" is a trill. Trills and flaps, where there are one or more brief occlusions, constitute a class of consonant called rhotics.
- Approximant, where there is very little obstruction. Examples include English /w/ and /r/. In some languages, such as Spanish, there are sounds that seem to fall between fricative and approximant.
- One use of the word semivowel, sometimes called a glide, is a type of approximant, pronounced like a vowel but with the tongue closer to the roof of the mouth, so that there is slight turbulence. In English, /w/ is the semivowel equivalent of the vowel /u/, and /j/ (spelled "y") is the semivowel equivalent of the vowel /i/ in this usage. Other descriptions use semivowel for vowel-like sounds that are not syllabic, but do not have the increased stricture of approximants. These are found as elements in diphthongs. The word may also be used to cover both concepts.
Manners of articulation with substantial obstruction of the airflow (plosives, fricatives, affricates) are called obstruents. These are prototypically voiceless, but voiced obstruents are extremely common as well. Manners without such obstruction (nasals, liquids, approximants, and also vowels) are called sonorants because they are nearly always voiced. Voiceless sonorants are uncommon, but are found in Welsh and Classical Greek (the spelling "rh"), in Tibetan (the "lh" of Lhasa), and the "wh" in those dialects of English that distinguish "which" from "witch".
Sonorants may also be called resonants, and some linguists prefer that term, restricting the word 'sonorant' to non-vocoid resonants (that is, nasals and liquids, but not vowels or semi-vowels). Another common distinction is between stops (plosives and nasals) and continuants (all else); affricates are considered to be both, because they are sequences of stop plus fricative.
Other airstream initiations
All of these manners of articulation are pronounced with an airstream mechanism called pulmonic egressive, meaning that the air flows outward, and is powered by the lungs (actually the ribs and diaphragm). Other airstream mechanisms are possible. Sounds that rely on some of these include:
- Ejectives, which are glottalic egressive. That is, the airstream is powered by an upward movement of the glottis rather than by the lungs or diaphragm. Plosives, affricates, and occasionally fricatives may occur as ejectives. All ejectives are voiceless.
- Implosives, which are glottalic ingressive. Here the glottis moves downward, but the lungs may be used simultaneously (to provide voicing), and in some languages no air may actually flow into the mouth. Implosive oral stops are not uncommon, but implosive affricates and fricatives are rare. Voiceless implosives are also rare.
- Clicks, which are velaric ingressive. Here the back of the tongue is used to create a vacuum in the mouth, causing air to rush in when the forward occlusion (tongue or lips) is released. Clicks may be oral or nasal, stop or affricate, central or lateral, voiced or voiceless. They are extremely rare in normal words outside Southern Africa. However, English has a click in its "tsk tsk" (or "tut tut") sound, and another is often used to say "giddy up" to a horse.
- Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8.
- Movie clip showing the human articulators in action
- Interactive place and manner of articulation
- Interactive Flash website for American English, Spanish and German sounds
International Phonetic Alphabet IPA topics IPA Phonetics Special topics Encodings Consonants IPA pulmonic consonants chartchart image • audio Place → Labial Coronal Dorsal Radical Glottal ↓ Manner Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Postalv. Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Epiglottal Glottal Nasal m ɱ n̪ n ɳ ɲ ŋ ɴ Plosive p b p̪ b̪ t̪ d̪ t d ʈ ɖ c ɟ k ɡ q ɢ ʡ ʔ Fricative ɸ β f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ ʂ ʐ ç ʝ x ɣ χ ʁ ħ ʕ ʜ ʢ h ɦ Approximant ʋ ɹ ɻ j ɰ Trill ʙ r ɽ͡r ʀ я * Flap or tap ⱱ̟ ⱱ ɾ ɽ ɢ̆ ʡ̯ Lateral Fric. ɬ ɮ ɭ˔̊ ʎ̥˔ ʟ̝̊ Lateral Appr. l ɭ ʎ ʟ Lateral flap ɺ ɺ̠ ʎ̯ Non-pulmonic consonants Clicks ʘ ǀ ǃ ǂ ǁ Implosives ɓ ɗ ʄ ᶑ ɠ ʛ Ejectives pʼ tʼ cʼ ʈʼ kʼ qʼ fʼ θʼ sʼ ɬʼ xʼ χʼ tsʼ tɬʼ cʎ̝̥ʼ tʃʼ ʈʂʼ kxʼ kʟ̝̊ʼ Affricates p̪f ts dz tʃ dʒ tɕ dʑ ʈʂ ɖʐ tɬ dɮ cç ɟʝ Co-articulated consonants Fricatives ɕ ʑ ɧ Approximants ʍ w ɥ ɫ Stops k͡p ɡ͡b ŋ͡m These tables contain phonetic symbols, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help] Where symbols appear in pairs, left—right represent the voiceless—voiced consonants. Shaded areas denote pulmonic articulations judged to be impossible. * Symbol not defined in IPA. Chart image Vowels
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