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UNIT 4. Addendum 4.

PLACES OF ARTICULATION: VISUAL GUIDE.


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When we describe any consonant, the place of articulation defines the


location at which two organs approach or come together in order to create the
stricture necessary to produce the consonantal sound. In the pronunciation of
any consonant an active articulator (a movable organ in the mouth) moves
against a passive articulator (a fixed organ), or two active articulators move
toward each other, creating the obstruction of the air that makes a noise that
ultimately is the consonantal sound. The place of articulation marks the point
where those organs approach or are in contact in the mouth.

English consonants have eight (plus two additions) possible places of


articulation:

BILABIAL:

Articulators:

Upper lip and Lower lip

Consonants:

/p/: plosive, voiceless.

/b/: plosive, voiced.

/m/: nasal, voiced.

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The approximant /w/ is bilabial too, but it combines the closure of the lips with a
stricture between the soft palate (or velum) and the back of the tongue, so it is
considered Labio-velar:

LABIODENTAL:

Articulators:

Upper teeth and Lower lip

Consonants:

/f/: Fricative, voiceless.

/v/: Fricative, voiced.

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DENTAL:

Articulators:

Upper teeth and Tip of the tongue

Consonants:

/θ/: Fricative, voiceless.

/ð/: Fricative, voiced.

ALVEOLAR:

Articulators:

Alveolar ridge and Blade of the tongue

Consonants:

/t/: Plosive, voiceless.


/d/: Plosive, voiced.
/s/: Fricative, voiceless.
/z/: Fricative, voiced.
/n/: Nasal, voiced.
/l/: Lateral, voiced.

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PALATO-ALVEOLAR:

Articulators:

Last part of the alveolar ridge and


beginning of the hard palate and Front
of the tongue

Consonants:

/ʃ/: Fricative, voiceless.

/ʒ/: Fricative, voiced.

/tʃ/: Affricate, voiceless.

/dʒ/: Affricate, voiced.

The trill consonant /r/ is palato-alveolar too, but it is articulated with the
underside of the tongue, and not with the front part, because the tongue is
curled back. This special place of articulation is called Retroflex:

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PALATAL:

Articulators:

Hard palate and Front of the tongue

Consonant:

/j/: Approximant, voiced.

VELAR:

Articulators:

Soft palate (or velum) and Back


of the tongue

Consonants:

/k/: Plosive, voiceless.

/g/: Plosive, voiced.

/ŋ/: Nasal, voiced.

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GLOTTAL:

Articulators:

Vocal Folds (narrowing of the glottis)

Consonant:

/h/: Fricative, voiceless.