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  • Hey everybody. Welcome. Thanks for joining us.

  • So today we will be talking about articulatory phonetics.

  • This is the study of how speech sounds are produced in the vocal tract.

  • All of our articulators in our vocal tracts must work in concert to produce just one speech sound.

  • This is to say nothing of the complexity of these motor routines in casual speech.

  • So just a note, we will be focusing on the phonetics of spoken languages,

  • and more specifically consonant sounds in North American English in this video.

  • So what's the difference between consonants and vowels you might ask.

  • Well basically consonants involves some construction of airflow, whereas vowels do not.

  • When linguists described consonant sounds,

  • we use three criteria: voicing, place of articulation and manner of articulation.

  • Let's talk about each of these in turn.

  • Voicing or state of the glottis refers to what the vocal folds are doing.

  • When air passes through open vocal folds,

  • we call these voiceless sounds.

  • When air passes through vibrating vocal folds,

  • we call these voiced sounds.

  • You can feel the difference between voiced and voiceless sounds

  • by putting your hand right here on your adam's apple if you're male

  • or where your adam's apple would be if you're a female.

  • So produce these two sounds in succession

  • [s]

  • [z]

  • [s]

  • [z]

  • Which one produces the vibration?

  • You should feel that [z] produces a vibration. So it's a voiced sound.

  • whereas [s] does not produce the vibration. So it's a voiceless sound.

  • Place of articulation refers to where in the vocal track

  • the construction of airflow takes place.

  • Bilabial sounds are produced with both lips like [p], [b], [m].

  • Labiodental sounds are produced with the upper teeth and the low lips such as [f] [v].

  • Interdental sounds are produced with the tongue in between the upper and lower teeth such as [θ] [ð].

  • such as [θ] [ð].

  • Alveolar sounds are produced with the tongue at or near the ridge right behind upper front teeth

  • such as [t] [d] [s].

  • Palatal sounds are produced at the hard palate or the roof of the mouth

  • such as [ʃ] [ʒ] [j].

  • Velar sounds are produced at the velum or soft palate

  • such as [k] [g].

  • Glottal sounds are produced at the glottis or the space between the vocal folds

  • such as [h] or the catch in the throat as in Batman

  • Manner of articulation refers to how the airflow is constricted in the vocal tract.

  • Stop sounds result from a complete constriction of airflow followed by a release of that air

  • such as [p] [t] [k] [b] [d] [g].

  • Fricatives are sounds produced when the tongue approaches

  • but does not make contact with a place of articulation causing a bottleneck of the airflow.

  • This gives the sound a friction like quality

  • such as [v] [θ] [z] [ʃ].

  • Affricate results from the sequence of stop plus fricative in rapid succession.

  • So the affricate [ʧ] represents [t] plus [ʃ]

  • just as the affricate [ʤ] results from [d] plus [ʒ].

  • Nasal sounds are produced when the velum is lowered

  • allowing air to pass through the nasal cavity

  • such as [m] [n] [ŋ].

  • Liquid sounds are produced by allowing air to pass by one or both sides at the tongue

  • and the tongue itself can move a lot to shape the sound

  • such as [l] [ɹ].

  • Glide sounds are produced with very little constriction of air flow

  • so little in fact that they are often referred to as semi-vowels

  • such as [w] [j].

  • And finally we have tap sounds.

  • Tap sounds are involving rapid flick of the tongue to some place of articulation.

  • In North American English we only really have one tap, and that's at the alveolar ridge.

  • You can hear the tap sound in the word butter butter.

  • Notice where we write it with two "t"s in English that your tongue is producing a tap sound there

  • rather than a full stop.

  • So in North American English you say [bʌɾɹ],

  • now as compared to in received pronunciation

  • where you say [bʌtɹ] that involves a full [t] stop.

  • Okay we discussed these three criteria for describing consonant sounds:

  • voicing, place of articulation and manner of articulation.

  • and when linguists talk about a consonant sounds they do so in that order

  • so for example the sound [b] is considered a voiced bilabial stop.

  • [s] is a voiceless alveolar fricative.

  • That's it for this video. Thanks so much for watching. Hope you enjoyed it.

  • So please check out our other videos including articulatory phonetics and vowels

  • and also how to navigate the international phonetic alphabet.

  • See later.

Hey everybody. Welcome. Thanks for joining us.

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B2 US articulation produced vocal airflow tongue voiceless

Introduction to Articulatory Phonetics (Consonants)

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    J.s. Chen posted on 2015/10/16
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