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Encyclopedia > Consonant

In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. The word consonant comes from Latin and means "sounding with" or "sounding together," the idea being that consonants don't sound on their own, but occur only with a nearby vowel, which is the case in Latin. This conception of consonants, however, does not reflect the modern linguistic understanding which defines consonants in terms of vocal tract constriction. The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics. ... This article is about compression waves. ... Sagittal section of human vocal tract The vocal tract is that cavity in animals and humans, where sound that is produced at the sound source (larynx in mammals; syrinx in birds) is filtered. ... Latin is an ancient Indo-European language originally spoken in Latium, the region immediately surrounding Rome. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...

Places of articulation
Labial
Bilabial
Labial-velar
Labial-alveolar
Labiodental
Coronal
Linguolabial
Interdental
Dental
Alveolar
Apical
Laminal
Postalveolar
Alveolo-palatal
Retroflex
Dorsal
Palatal
Labial-palatal
Velar
Uvular
Uvular-epiglottal
Radical
Pharyngeal
Epiglotto-pharyngeal
Epiglottal
Glottal
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Manners of articulation
Obstruent
Click
Plosive
Ejective
Implosive
Affricate
Fricative
Sibilant
Sonorant
Nasal
Flaps/Tap
Trill
Approximant
Liquid
Vowel
Semivowel
Lateral
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Since the number of consonants in the world's languages is much greater than the number of consonant letters in any one alphabet, linguists have devised systems such as the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to assign a unique symbol to each possible consonant. In fact, the Latin alphabet, which is used to write English, has fewer consonant letters than English has consonant sounds, so some letters represent more than one consonant, and digraphs like "sh" and "th" are used to represent some sounds. Many speakers aren't even aware that the "th" sound in "this" is a different sound from the "th" sound in "thing" (in the IPA they're [ð] and [θ], respectively). Places of articulation (passive & active): 1. ... Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips (bilabial articulation) or with the lower lip and the upper teeth (labiodental articulation). ... In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. ... Labial-velar consonants are doubly articulated at the velum and the lips. ... A labial-alveolar consonant is a consonant produced with two simultaneous places of articulation: At the lips (labial; a p, b, or m sound), and at the gums (alveolar; a t, d, or n sound). ... In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lips and the upper teeth, or viceversa. ... Coronal consonants are articulated with the flexible front part of the tongue. ... Linguolabials are consonants articulated by putting the tongue tip or tongue blade against the upper lip. ... Interdental consonants are produced by placing the blade of the tongue against the upper incisors. ... Dentals are consonants such as t, d, n, and l articulated with either the lower or the upper teeth, or both, rather than with the gum ridge as in English. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... An apical consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue (i. ... A laminal consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the blade of the tongue, which is the flat top front surface just behind the tip of the tongue. ... Postalveolar (or palato-alveolar) consonants are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue between the alveolar ridge (the place of articulation for alveolar consonants) and the palate (the place of articulation for palatal consonants). ... Sagittal section of alveolo-palatal fricative In phonetics, alveolo-palatal (or alveopalatal) consonants are palatalized postalveolar fricatives, articulated with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the body of the tongue raised toward the palate. ... Sub-apical retroflex plosive In phonetics, retroflex consonants are consonant sounds used in some languages. ... Dorsal consonants are articulated with the back of the tongue against either the hard palate, or the flexible velum just behind it, or even against the uvula. ... Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). ... In phonetics, the labialised palatal approximant is a consonant with two constrictions in the vocal tract: with the tongue on the palate, and rounded at the lips. ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. ... A uvular-epiglottal consonant is a doubly articulated consonant pronounced by making a simultaneous uvular consonant and epiglottal consonant. ... Radical consonants are articulated with the root (base) of the tongue in the throat. ... A pharyngeal consonant is a type of consonant which is articulated with the root of the tongue against the pharynx. ... An epiglotto-pharyngeal consonant is a newly reported type of consonant, articulated with the epiglottis against the back wall of the pharynx. ... An epiglottal consonant is a consonant that is articulated with the aryepiglottal folds (see larynx) against the epiglottis. ... Glottal consonants are consonants articulated with the glottis. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone meaning sound, voice) is the study of sounds and the human voice. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... In linguistics, manner of articulation describes how the tongue, lips, and other speech organs involved in making a sound make contact. ... In phonetics, an obstruent is a consonant sound formed by obstructing the airway. ... Clicks are stops produced with two articulatory closures in the oral cavity. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Ejective consonants are a class of consonants which may contrast with aspirated or tenuis consonants in a language. ... Implosive consonants are plosives (rarely affricates) with a glottalic ingressive airstream mechanism. ... Affricate consonants begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as or ), but release as a fricative such as or (or, in a couple of languages, into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ... A sibilant is a type of fricative or affricate, made by directing a jet of air through a narrow channel towards the sharp edge of the teeth. ... In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant is a member of a class of speech sounds that are continuants produced without turbulent airflow in the vocal tract. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... In phonetics, a flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, which is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (such as the tongue) is thrown against another. ... In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Liquid consonants, or liquids, are approximant consonants that are not classified as semivowels (glides) because they do not correspond phonetically to specific vowels (in the way that, for example, the initial in English yes corresponds to ). The class of liquids can be divided into lateral liquids and rhotics. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Semivowels (also called semiconsonants or glides) are vowels that function phonemically as consonants. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... Phonetic (pho-NET-ic) is a nationwide voicemail-to-text messaging service available for most digital mobile phones in which a subscriber is provided a custom voice mailbox for the purpose of receiving all incoming voice messages as actual transcribed text for reading via short messaging (also known as SMS... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... The following is a list of linguists, those who study linguistics. ... For information on how to read IPA transcriptions of English words see here. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


Each consonant can be distinguished by several features: In linguistics, distinctive features are the elements which distinguish one phoneme or allophone from one another. ...

  • The manner of articulation is the method that the consonant is articulated, such as nasal (through the nose), stop (complete obstruction of air), or approximant (vowel like).
  • The place of articulation is where in the vocal tract the obstruction of the consonant occurs, and which speech organs are involved. Places include bilabial (both lips), alveolar (tongue against the gum ridge), and velar (tongue against soft palate). Additionally, there may be a simultaneous narrowing at another place of articulation, such as palatalisation or pharyngealisation.
  • The phonation of a consonant is how the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. When the vocal cords vibrate fully, the consonant is called voiced; when they do not vibrate at all, it's voiceless.
  • The voice onset time (VOT) indicates the timing of the phonation. Aspiration is a feature of VOT.
  • The airstream mechanism is how the air moving through the vocal tract is powered. Most languages have exclusively pulmonic egressive consonants, which use the lungs and diaphragm, but ejectives, clicks, and implosives use different mechanisms.
  • The length is how long the obstruction of a consonant lasts. This feature is borderline distinctive in English, as in "wholly" [hoʊlli] vs. "holy" [hoʊli], but cases are limited to morpheme boundaries. Unrelated roots are differentiated in various languages such as Italian, Japanese and Finnish, with two length levels, "single" and "geminate". Estonian and some Sami languages have three phonemic lengths: short, geminate, and long geminate, although the distinction between the geminate and overlong geminate includes suprasegmental features.
  • The articulatory force is how much muscular energy is involved. This has been proposed many times, but no distinction relying exclusively on force has ever been demonstrated.

All English consonants can be classified by a combination of these features, such as "voiceless alveolar stop consonant" [t]. In this case the airstream mechanism is omitted. In linguistics, manner of articulation describes how the tongue, lips, and other speech organs involved in making a sound make contact. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Places of articulation (passive & active): 1. ... In phonetics, a bilabial consonant is a consonant articulated with both lips. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Palatalization means pronouncing a sound nearer to the hard palate, making it more like a palatal consonant; this is towards the front of the mouth for a velar or uvular consonant, but towards the back of the mouth for a front (e. ... Pharyngealisation is a secondary articulation of consonants or vowels by which the pharynx is constricted during the articulation of the sound. ... In phonetics, phonation is the use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... Laryngoscopic view of the vocal folds. ... Phoneticians define phonation as use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... Phoneticians define phonation as use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... In phonetics, voice onset time, commonly abbreviated VOT, is the length of time that passes between when a consonant is released and when voicing, the vibration of the vocal folds begins. ... In phonetics, aspiration is the strong burst of air that accompanies the release of some obstruents. ... In phonetics, initiation is the action by which an air-flow is created through the vocal tract. ... This page is a candidate to be moved to Wiktionary. ... Ejective consonants are a class of consonants which may contrast with aspirated or unaspirated consonants in a language. ... Clicks are stops produced with two articulatory closures in the oral cavity. ... Implosive consonants are glottalic ingressive consonants, meaning that air is sucked into the mouth while pronouncing them rather than expelled out of the mouth via the lungs as in pulmonic consonants. ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-07-20, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ... In phonetics, gemination is when a spoken consonant is doubled, so that it is pronounced for an audibly longer period of time than a single consonant. ... Sami is a general name for a group of Uralic languages spoken in parts of northern Norway, Sweden, Finland and extreme northwestern Russia, in Northern Europe. ...


Some pairs of consonants like p::b, t::d are sometimes called fortis and lenis, but this is a phonological rather than phonetic distinction. Fortis (from Latin fortis strong) and lenis (from Latin lenis weak) are linguistics terms. ... The vowels of modern (Standard) Arabic and (Israeli) Hebrew from the phonological point of view. ...

Contents

Most and least consonants

The language of Ubykh has 84 distinct consonantal sounds - the language of Rotokas has only 6. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... Rotokas is a language (part of the East Papuan language family) spoken by some 4000 people in Bougainville, an island to the east of New Guinea, part of Papua New Guinea. ...


Consonant as a symbol

Main article: Writing system

The word consonant is also used to refer to a letter of an alphabet that denotes a consonant sound. Consonant letters in the English alphabet are B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Z, and usually Y: The letter Y stands for the consonant [j] in "yoke" but not for the vowel [ɪ] in "myth", for example. Writing systems of the world today. ... Vintage German letter balance for home use Look up letter in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... A Specimen of typeset fonts and languages, by William Caslon, letter founder; from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ... The letter B is the second letter of the modern Latin alphabet. ... Look up C, c in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up D, d in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up F, f in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up G, g in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up H, h in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up J, j in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up K, k in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up L, l in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up M, m in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up N, n in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up P, p in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Q, q in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up R, r in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up S, s in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see T (disambiguation). ... Look up V, v in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up W in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see X (disambiguation). ... Look up Z, z in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Look up Y, y in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


See also

The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... List of consonants // Ordered by place of articulation Labial consonants Bilabial consonants bilabial click bilabial ejective bilabial nasal (man) bilabial trill bilabial approximant voiced bilabial fricative voiced bilabial implosive voiced bilabial plosive (bed) voiceless bilabial fricative voiceless bilabial plosive (spin) Labiodental consonants labiodental approximant labiodental nasal (symphony) voiced labiodental fricative... Acoustic phonetics Affricate Airstream mechanism Alfred C. Gimson Allophone Alveolar approximant Alveolar consonant Alveolar ejective fricative Alveolar ejective Alveolar flap Alveolar nasal Alveolar ridge Alveolar trill Alveolo-palatal consonant Apical consonant Approximant consonant Articulatory phonetics aspiration Auditory phonetics Back vowel Bilabial click Bilabial consonant Bilabial ejective Bilabial nasal Bilabial trill...

External links

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  Consonants (List, table) See also: IPA, Vowels  
Pulmonics Bilabial Lab'den. Dental Alveolar Postalv. Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyn. Epiglottal Glottal Non-pulmonics and other symbols
Nasals m ɱ n ɳ ɲ ŋ ɴ Clicks  ʘ ǀ ǃ ǂ ǁ
Plosives p b t d ʈ ɖ c ɟ k ɡ q ɢ ʡ ʔ Implo­­sives  ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ ʛ
Fricatives  ɸ β f v θ ð s z ʃ ʒ ʂ ʐ ç ʝ x ɣ χ ʁ ħ ʕ ʜ ʢ h ɦ Ejec­­tives 
Approximants  β̞ ʋ ð̞ ɹ ɻ j ɰ Other laterals  ɺ ɫ
Trills ʙ r ʀ Co-articulated approximants ʍ w ɥ
Flaps & Taps ѵ̟ ѵ ɾ ɽ Co-articulated fricatives ɕ ʑ ɧ
Lat. Fricatives ɬ ɮ Affricates  ʦ ʣ ʧ ʤ
Lat. Appr'mants l ɭ ʎ ʟ Co-articulated stops  k͡p ɡ͡b ŋ͡m
This page contains phonetic information in IPA, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]
Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a voiced consonant. Shaded areas denote pulmonic articulations judged impossible.

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