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Chapter 5: Consonants


Consonants produced with resonance throughout entire vocal tract; little turbulence in airstream; low-frequency spectra (pitch).


Consonants produced with constriction in oral cavity; turbulence in airstream; higher frequency spectra (pitch).

Manner of production

Way in which airstream is modified as it passes through the vocal tract.

Place of articulation

Which articulators are employed in production of a phoneme; location of constriction in vocal tract in production of consonant.


Vocal folds vibrate during phoneme production; all vowels; only certain consonants.


Consonant characterized by: (1) complete obstruction of the outgoing airstream; (2) increased intraoral pressure; and (3) release of the pressure. Closure of oral cavity and VP is due to constriction at the lips, alveolar ridge, or velum.


Consonant produced by forcing breath stream through narrow channel formed by two separate articulators in vocal tract.


Consonant produced with constriction formed by tongue blade and the hard palate, slightly posterior to constriction formed during production of alveolar consonants.


Consonant characterized as having both a fricative and a stop manner of production.


Consonant produced with obstruction in vocal tract; less obstruction than that associated with obstruents or nasals, but greater than that associated with vowels; glide or liquid.


Consonant characterized by continued, gliding motion of the articulators into the following vowel; also "semi-vowel."


Generic label used to classify two English approximant consonants (l and r).

Type of articulation

Bilabial, labiodental, interdental, alveolar, palatal, velar, glottal.

Types of production

Stop, fricative, affricate, nasal, glide, liquid


Both lips.


Light contact between upper teeth and bottom lip.


Blade of tongue and lower edge of upper incisors.


Blad of tongue on or close to alveolar ridge.


Tongue and velum (soft area behind hard palate).


Air is stopped at glottis.


Sound comes out of nose, not oral cavity.

Classes of sonorant consonants

Nasal, liquid, glide

Classes of nonresonant consonants

Stop, fricative, affricate

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