Place of Articulation

Place of articulation is one of the three distinctive features of consonants. This blog post will explain the locations, used in English, and list the English consonants that occur at these points.

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The place (point) of articulation of a consonant is the location of the passive and active articulators or where a sound is produced due to obstruction of the airstream.

Bilabial = bilabial consonants are produced when you obstruct airflow by bringing your lips together. Ex. (p)eople, (b)ill, (m)an, (w)eekend

  • /p/
  • /b/
  • /m/
  • /w/
  • /ʍ/

 

Labio-Dental = labio-dental consonants are produced when you obstruct airflow by curling your lower lip to your upper teeth. Ex. (f)avor, (v)ote

  • /f/
  • /v/

 

Inter-Dental = inter-dental consonants are produced when you obstruct airflow by raising your tongue to your upper teeth. Ex. tee(th), (th)is

  • /θ/
  • /ð/

 

Alveolar = alveolar consonants are produced when you obstruct airflow by placing your tongue to your alveolar ridge (the spot behind your teeth where they meet your gums). Ex. (n)o, (t)ip, (d)are, (s)ave, (z)oo, be(ll), (r)eal

  • /n/
  • /t/
  • /d/
  • /s/
  • /z/
  • /l/
  • /ɹ/

 

Post-Alveolar = post-alveolar consonants are produced when you obstruct airflow by raising your tongue just beyond the alveolar ridge. Ex. (sh)oot, plea(su)re, tea(ch), e(dge)

  • /∫/
  • /ʒ/
  • /t∫/
  • /dʒ/

 

Palatal = palatal consonants are produced when you obstruct airflow by raising your tongue to the roof of your mouth/hard palate. Ex. (y)es

  • /j/

 

Velar = velar consonants are produced when you obstruct airflow by placing the back of your tongue near the velum/soft palate (behind the roof of your mouth). Ex. s(k)ip, (g)et, ri(ng)

  • /k/
  • /g/
  • /η/

 

Glottal = glottal consonants are produced when you obstruct airflow by closing the vocal folds/cords and then releasing the air. Ex. (h)at, u(h)-oh, Wha(t) time is it?

  • /h/
  • /ʔ/
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