The palate is the roof of the mouth in humans and vertebrate animals. The palate is divided into two parts, the anterior bony hard palate, and the posterior fleshy soft palate or velum. The name is probably derived from the Latinpalatum.
Palatals are consonants articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth).
English [j] (spelt y) is a palatal approximant, and German [ç] (spelt ch after front vowels, as in nicht) or Spanish [jj] (spelt y before vowels, as in ayuda) are palatal fricatives.
For example, English [S] (spelt sh) has such a palatal component, although its primary articulation involves the tip of the tongue and the upper gum (this type of articulation is called palatoalveolar).
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