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EDU406 Assignment No 02 Fall 2020 Solution / Discussion

Write a note on manners of articulation?

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Assignment No:2 Solution


Write a note on manners of articulation?


 Manners of Articulation:

                                        In articulatory phonetics, the manner of articulation is the configuration and interaction of the articulators (speech organs such as the tongue, lips, and palate) when making a speech sound. One parameter manner is stricture, that is, how closely the speech organs approach one another.

For Example:

 You can squeeze the back of your tongue against your velum to block the airflow. Or you can lightly touch that same place and let some air pass through. Although both of these motions occur at the same place, they make different sounds because of the manner of articulation.

Manners of Articulation:

  • Plosives/ stops
  • Affricates
  • Nasals
  • Fricatives
  • Laterals
  • Approximants



               In plosives, the speech organs are closed and the oral and nasal cavity completely closed blocking off the airstream. The up building pressure in the oral cavity is then suddenly released. The audible puff of air that is released is called aspiration. Plosives of the English language are /p/, /t/, /k/ (voiceless) and //b/, /d/, /g/ (voiced).



Like with plosives there is a complete blockage of the airstream in the oral cavity. But in contrast to said plosives, the blocked-off airstream is not released suddenly, but rather slowly causing audible friction. Affricates can, therefore, be divided into two parts: a plosive followed by a fricative (as there is closure and friction in the same place). But note that affricates are always analyzed as only one phoneme. English affricates are /tʃ/ (voiceless) as in cheese and /dʒ/ (voiced) as in jungle.

There are two sub parts of affricates:

Sibilant Affricates:

Affricates can be viewed as a combination of two sounds which are pronounced pretty much simultaneously. Often, in phonetic transcriptions, the two sounds will be joined by a tie bar like this [ ].

In sibilant affricates, it's usually the sound on the right that is sibilant. Two examples of sibilant affricates in English are [t͡ʃ] and [d͡ʒ].

The ch in the word change represents the sound [t͡ʃ] while the g in the same word is pronounced [d͡ʒ].

Non-sibilant Affricates:

Unlike in sibilant affricates, the sound on the right in non-sibilant affricates lacks sibilance.

In other words, it doesn't have the radio static-like aspect to it.

The best example I can come up with is in New York English. If you ever get the chance, notice how they pronounce the word tooth. The th sound at the end is pronounced [t̪͡θ].

If you want to hear what a non-sibilant affricate is right now, listen to this guy for a bit. Some of his th sounds in words like that and this sound like [d̪͡ð]:







            In nasal sounds the velum (soft palate) is lowered blocking off the oral cavity. Air can only escape through the nose. English nasals are /m/, /n/ and /ŋ/ as in sing, which are all voiced. For example, the nasal consonants [m] and [n] are quite common in languages and are certainly found in English.

Let's take a word that starts with M in English such as man.

Pronounce only the M in man and put your finger right in front of your nostrils. You should feel some air coming out.

This tells you that there is an element of nasality to this consonant sound.

For non nasal consonant sounds, there may be a bit of air coming out of the nose, but the flow of air is more pronounced with nasal consonants (and nasal vowels, for that matter).




               Fricatives are created when air forces its way through a narrow gap between two articulators at a steady pace. They can be divided into two categories: slit fricatives and groove fricatives. In slit fricatives the tongue is rather flat (as in /f/, /θ/ as in thing (voiceless), /v/, /ð/ as in this (voiced) ) while in groove fricatives the front of the tongue forms the eponymous groove (/s/ as in seal, /ʃ/ as in shock (voiceless), /z/ as in zero, /ʒ/ as in measure (voiced)).

Ther e are two sub parts of fricatives:

Sibilant Fricatives:

The distinctive feature of fricatives is that, when producing them, you use your vocal apparatus to partially block the airflow at the place of articulation in such a way that only some air passes through. By restraining the airflow, it creates some friction between the air and your vocal apparatus which is what produces the distinctive kind of sound of the fricatives.


Sibilant fricatives are characterized by louder and higher frequency sounds than non-sibilant fricatives. These are the sounds found in a words like show and season.

Non-sibilant Fricatives:

Non-sibilant fricatives are essentially the same except that the sound is not as intense.

To hear that difference, compare the sibilant fricative sounds of show and season with the th in this and the f in fine.





Laterals :

The tip of the tongue is pressed onto the alveolar ridge. The rims of the tongue are lowered so that the air escapes over the lowered tongue rims. The only English lateral sound is /l/ (voiced). 



                         The name approximants refers to the fact that the articulators involved approach each another without actually touching. There are three approximants in the English language: /j/ as in you, /w/ as in we and /r/ as in rise (all voiced). Approximants are often referred to as semi-vowels (or glides) as they represent the “twilight zone” between consonants and vowels. 

Taps or Flaps:

Taps are similar to plosives, but a tap is a single brief burst with little accumulation of pressure at the place of articulation which results in a contact time that is usually much less.

Compared to taps, more pressure is accumulated to produce plosives, which results in a tendency for them to have longer contact time, especially before the sound is actually produced.

That is not possible for taps; the contact lasts about only as long as the sound itself. Standard American English does have a tap consonant: [ɾ].It can be heard in words like bedding and pity.


Trills are, in turn, similar to taps, but instead of a single brief burst at the place of articulation, it is a series of repeated bursts.

There are no trills in Standard American English, but if you've ever heard some Spanish, you might have noticed that some of their R's are trills.

The classic example of the trill in Spanish is found in the word carro. It is sometimes called the rolled R and it is represented by [r]:


The air flows continuously when producing trills, unlike with taps.


Sibilance is not a manner of articulation by itself on the chart.

So, why are we talking about it here?

Because it's something that characterizes certain affricates and certain fricatives, which we'll see next. Sibilant consonants are distinctive as they are louder and at a higher frequency.

The high frequency sound is very similar to TV or radio static. Just pronounce a very long S and you'll get what I mean.



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