Phonetically, consonants (C) are sounds that involves a significant occlusion (closure or constriction) of the vocal tract. These sounds are traditionally characterized by voicing, place of articulation, and manner of articulation features; these are listed below and illustrated in the graphic to the right.
- Voicing (+voice, -voice)
- Place (labial, labiodental, dental, alveolar, postalveolar, palatal, retroflex, velar, uvular, pharyngeal, glottal)
- Manner (plosive, nasal, trill, tap, fricative, aproximant)
Such features are used to distinguish between consonantal segments and define natural classes (e.g. continuant, coronal, etc.).
Consonants help define the phonotactics of a language acting as onsets, codas, and occasionally nuclei of syllables. Consonants contrast with vowels which are articulated with an unobstructed vocal tract.
For a complete description of Gaelic consonants and its phoneme inventory, see the main article at Sounds of Scottish Gaelic.
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- Crystal, D. (2008) Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell.
- Ladefoged, D. (2010) A Course in Phonetics. 6th Edition. Wadsworth Publishing.
- Matthews, P. H. (1997) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.