Place of Articulation (definition)

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Place of articulation refers to the location in the mouth where a sound, usually a consonant, is produced. It is often thought of as the place where there is the most contact between articulators. It is worth mentioning that especially for approximants there is not so much contact between articulators as 'near-contact,' articulators approach each other. Consonants are traditionally classified by their place of articulation in tandem with voicing and manner features. The list of places of articulation below follow the path of the vocal tract, starting at the lips and ending at the glottis.

Sounds with similar or nearby places of articulation can be grouped together into larger classes that reflect their tendency to behave similarly within a language. The broader categories listed below occasionally reference the part of the tongue that is used to articulate the class of sounds but also denote the place in the vocal tract where the constriction occurs.

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.