Manner of Articulation (definition)

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Manner of articulation is a feature that refers to the type of constriction found in consonantal sounds. In tandem with place of articulation and voicing features, manner can be used to describe and distinguish between a wide range of language sounds. Manners of articulation include stops, when there is a complete closure in the vocal tract; fricatives, when there is a constriction but not a complete closure in the vocal tract that is narrow enough to cause turbulent airflow; and appoximants, when the vocal tract is fairly open. Descriptions of the manner of articulation are normally reserved for consonants. Vowels are made with hardly any constriction in the vocal tract and are phonetically best described in terms of their acoustic features. Nevertheless, rounding, backness, and height features are still relevant.

Manners of articulation include:

Sounds made with similar manners of articulation can be grouped into broader classes when they behave similarly within a language. This includes groups like:

See Also

External Links

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  • Crystal, David. (1997) A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Oxford, UK: Blackwell.
  • Ladefoged, Peter (1993) A Course in Phonetics Third Edition. London: Harcourt Press.
  • Matthews, P. H. (1997) The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.