Manner of Articulation

Manner of articulation is one of the three distinctive features of consonants. This blog post will explain the path of airflow, used in English, and list the English consonants that occur during these distinguishing processes.

The manner of articulation of a consonant is the configuration and interaction of articulators and how the speech sound affects the airflow.

Nasal = nasal consonants occur when you block the airflow in the mouth and let the air pass through the nose. Ex. ha(m), (n)ap, fi(ng)er

  • /m/
  • /n/
  • /η/

 

Stop = stop consonants occur when you completely block airflow from the lungs through the mouth followed by a release of the air. Ex. (p)ain, (b)uild, (t)ap, (d)ig, (k)ill, be(g)

  • /p/
  • /b/
  • /t/
  • /d/
  • /k/
  • /g/

 

Fricative = fricative consonants occur when you force the airflow through a narrow channel, passive and active articulators come close and cause friction. Ex. (f)ree, (v)oice, (th)ing, fa(th)er, (s)ee, ro(s)e, (sh)ame, sei(zu)re, (h)elp

  • /f/
  • /v/
  • /θ/
  • /ð/
  • /s/
  • /z/
  • /∫/
  • /ʒ/
  • /h/

 

Affricate = affricate consonants occur when you completely block airflow and then release the air through a narrow channel, a combination of a stop and a fricative. Ex. (ch)air, (j)oy

  • /t∫/
  • /dʒ/

 

Approximant = approximant consonants occur when articulators are close but not close enough to stop airflow entirely, they sound somewhat like vowels. Ex. (l)eft, (r)eal, (w)e, (y)es

  • /l/
  • /r/
  • /w/
  • /j/

 

Liquids = liquid consonants occur when you partially block airflow and the air is altered in different directions. Ex. (l)ife, ve(r)y

  • /l/
  • /r/

 

Glides = glide consonants occur when you partially block airflow and direct the air is a smooth direction over the tongue. Ex. (w)et, (y)ou

  • /w/
  • /j/
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