Phonetics

Consonant phonemes in English/ coherent speech/examples

Consonant sounds

All consonants are different shades of noise. When they are formed, the air stream encounters an obstacle in its path. Their articulation can be accompanied by the sound of a voice (voiced) or pronounced without it (deaf). The consonant system includes 24 elements. Consonant phonemes in English

English consonants are classified by the method of formation of the barrier, by the work of the active organ of speech and the place of formation of the barrier, by the participation of the vocal cords.

According to the method of formation of the barrier, consonants are divided into occlusives, slotted, and affricates. The formation of occlusive consonants is achieved by the complete closure of the articulating organs of speech, i.e. the formation in the oral cavity of a complete obstruction to the airflow. If, when the obstacle is opened, the airstream produces a strong, like an explosion, sound, the consonant is called explosive, for example: [k], [g], [p], [b].

The strength of the exhaled airflow and the degree of muscular tension when pronouncing voiceless consonants is higher than when pronouncing vowels. Therefore, when describing them, they use the term fortis from lat. fortis ‘strong’. When pronouncing voiced consonants [b, d, ɡ, v, ð, ʤ, ʒ, z], the strength of muscular tension is lower, therefore, in relation to them, the term “ lazy” from Latin is used. lenis ‘soft, weak’.

There are 8 sonants in English: Consonant phonemes in English

[m, n, l, ŋ, h, j, r, w]. … Sonorous, or sonants, are very close to vowels and contrast to voiceless aspirated consonants. These are consonants that are pronounced without active vibration of the vocal cords. Very often they don’t have a deaf couple. Sonants [m, n, l] in the final position in a word after a noisy consonant or between two noisy consonants are syllabic.

When pronouncing gap consonants, only some convergence of the articulating organs of speech is achieved. If the gap formed in this way is not too wide, the noise of friction prevails in the pronunciation of consonants. Such consonants are called fricatives , for example: [f], [v], [h]. When pronouncing slotted sonants, the passage for the air stream is somewhat wider. Air is directed either along the entire plane of the tongue or along the sides of the tongue, as in the case of sound. Therefore, consonants such as [j], [w], [r] are called median sonants, and consonant [l] is called lateral or lateral sonant.

When pronouncing the affricate [tʃ |, [ʤ], a complete obstacle gradually turns into an incomplete one.

According to the work of the active organ of speech and the place of formation of the obstacle, consonants are divided into labial, lingual and guttural.

1-Labial consonants Consonant phonemes in English

can be labial, articulated with both lips – [w], [m], [p], [b]; labiodental, pronounced with the lower lip and upper teeth – [f], [v].

  1. Lingual consonants

 fall into front-lingual, middle-lingual, and posterior-lingual.

  1. Front-lingual consonants

(when pronouncing which the front part of the tongue takes part in the formation of the obstacle) can be:

4-interdental (predorsal-dental)

[θ], [ð] (the surface of the anterior part of the tongue forms an incomplete obstruction with the upper teeth); Consonant phonemes in English

5-apical-alveolar Consonant phonemes in English

[t], [d], [n], [l], [s], [z], [∫], [ʒ], [t∫], [dʒ] (the anterior edge of the tongue is raised to alveolar arch);

6-cacuminal-postalveolar

[r] (the front edge of the tongue is raised up and slightly bent to the posterior slope of the alveoli).

When pronouncing middle-lingual consonants,

 the obstacle is formed by raising the middle part of the tongue to the hard palate. This is how the only dorsal-palatal sound [j] in English is articulated.

7-Back- lingual consonants Consonant phonemes in English

are articulated by raising the back of the tongue to the soft palate – [k], [g], [ŋ]. These are dorsal-veolar sounds.

8-The [h] sound is the only guttural sound in English.

When pronouncing it, the exhaled stream of air with a slight noise of friction passes through the narrowed glottis, the vocal cords do not vibrate, the organs of speech in the supraglottic cavities occupy the position necessary to pronounce the vowel sound following the laryngeal consonant.

voiced and voiceless Consonants Consonant phonemes in English

According to the participation of the vocal cords in the pronunciation of consonants, the latter is divided into voiced and voiceless.

When pronouncing voiced consonants,

as, for example, in the case of [b], [ɡ], and others, as well as sonants, the vocal cords vibrate. Pronunciation of voiceless consonants is associated with the absence of vibration of the vocal cords, and therefore, with the absence of a voice in their pronunciation, for example: [p], [f], [Ɵ].

It should be noted the strong articulation of the final voiceless consonants and a significant weakening of articulation and partial stunning of the final voiced consonants in English.

Most English consonants sound solid, i.e. they are not opposed on the basis of palatalization (softening of the consonants resulting from the raising of the middle back of the tongue to the hard palate).

Voiceless plosive-plosive consonants [p], [t], [k] in English

are pronounced with aspiration (aspiration). Aspiration resembles the noise of a weak exhalation sounding immediately after a voiceless consonant. This weak exhalation is created by rubbing the air against the converging vocal cords, resembling the consonant sound [h]: [ph], [th], [kh].

In the position after the voiceless slit fricative [s], the English voiceless plosive consonants [p], [t], [k] are pronounced without aspiration. In order to correctly pronounce the unaspirated version of a voiceless plosive-plosive sound, one should intensify the articulation of the slotted fricative [s] and linger a little on it, while moving to the articulation of the plosive-plosive consonant. The opening of the obstacle is done by fast and intensive movement of the corresponding speech organs: sp oon [ sp u: n], st ool [ st u: l], sch ool [ sk u: l], sp eak [ spi: k]. Voiceless plosive consonants are pronounced without aspiration in unstressed syllables: potato, tobacco. Consonant phonemes in English

Consonant phonemes

1-[р], [b]

labial-labial occlusive-plosive consonants. When pronouncing them, the lips, closing, form a complete barrier. Opening the barrier is done quickly and energetically. [p] is a voiceless, strong (forceful) consonant sound, pronounced with aspiration. [b] is a voiced, weak (lazy) consonant sound.

2-[k], [ɡ]

back-lingual plosive-plosive consonants. The dorsum of the tongue touches the soft palate, forming a complete obstruction, [k] – a dull, strong sound, pronounced with aspiration, [ɡ] – a sonorous, weak sound.

3-[t], [d]

anterior lingual apical-alveolar occlusive-plosive consonants. The tip of the tongue touches the alveoli, forming a complete obstruction, which is opened by a jet of air. [t] is a voiceless consonant, pronounced with aspiration, [d] is a voiced consonant. Consonant phonemes in English

4-[f], [v]

labiodental slotted fricative consonants. [f] is a voiceless, strong consonant sound. [v] is a voiced, weak consonant sound.

5-[s], [z]

anterior lingual apical-alveolar slotted fricative consonants. When pronouncing these consonants, a narrow gap is formed between the tip of the tongue and the alveoli. [s] is a voiceless consonant, [z] is a voiced consonant.

6-[Ɵ], [ð]

anterior lingual apical-interdental slotted fricative consonants. When pronouncing these consonants, the tongue is not tense, the tip of the tongue is between the teeth. Teeth are bared, a stream of air passes between the tongue and upper teeth, [θ] is a voiceless consonant, [ð] is a voiced consonant.

7-[ʧ], [ʤ]

anterior lingual alveolar-palatal occlusive affricates, the first component is an explosive sound [t] or [d], the second is a fricative [ʃ] or [ʒ]. When pronouncing them, the tip of the tongue touches the alveoli, while the middle part of the tongue rises to the hard palate. Gradually, the tip of the tongue moves away from the alveoli. A complete obstruction turns into an incomplete one, [ʧ] is a deaf weak consonant sound, [ʤ] is a voiced strong sound. Consonant phonemes in English

8-[m]

labial occlusive nasal sonant. The lips, closing, form a complete obstruction, the soft palate is lowered, the air stream passes through the nasal cavity.

9-[n]

anterior lingual apical-alveolar occlusive nasal sonant. The tip of the tongue touches the alveoli and forms a complete obstruction, the soft palate is lowered, the air passes through the nasal cavity.

10-[ŋ]

posterior lingual occlusive nasal sonant. When pronouncing it, the back of the tongue touches the soft palate. The tip of the tongue does not rise to the alveoli but is located at the base of the lower teeth. The sonant [ŋ] is not used at the beginning of a word but occurs only in the middle and final position after short vowels. Compared to other English sonants, the sound [ŋ] has the greatest duration and sonority.

11-[ʃ], [ʒ]

anterior lingual alveolar slit fricative consonants. The tip of the tongue is at the alveoli, and the middle part of the tongue rises to the hard palate, which gives the sounds a shade of softness, [ʃ] – a dull, strong consonant sound. [ʒ] is a voiced, weak consonant sound. Consonant phonemes in English

12-[h]

is a voiceless slit pharyngeal consonant. When it is pronounced in the pharynx region, an incomplete barrier is formed by bringing the root of the tongue and the back wall of the pharynx closer together. At the moment of pronouncing, the language takes a position for the next vowel, the sound is perceived by ear only as an exhalation. The [h] sound occurs only before vowels in English.

13-[l]

anterior lingual apical-alveolar lateral sonant. The tip of the tongue is pressed against the alveoli, the lateral edges are lowered, forming a passage for air. The dark (hard) shade [l] sounds at the end of words and before consonants. Light (palatalized) shade [l] sounds before vowels and consonants [j].

14-[j]

middle palatal slit sonant. The middle part of the tongue is raised to the hard palate. The edges of the tongue are pressed against the upper teeth, forming a passage for air along the middle of the tongue.

15-[r]

anterior lingual trans alveolar median slit sonant. The tip of the tongue is raised to the posterior slope of the alveoli.

16-[w]

 labial-labial posterior lingual slit sonant. When pronouncing it, the lips are strongly rounded and pushed forward, forming a round slit. The back of the tongue is raised to the soft palate. The organs of speech immediately move to the position for pronouncing the next vowel sound. Sonant [w] does not occur in the final position in a word. Consonant phonemes in English

Consonant Sound with Examples Consonant phonemes in English

1-Sounds [p] / [b]

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
p pencil [pensl]
p play [pleɪ]
p party [‘pɑ: tɪ]
p port [pᴐ: t]
p push [puʃ]
p stop [stɔp]
pp pepper [‘pepə]
pp happy [‘hæpɪ]
pp shopping [‘ʃɔpɪŋ]

2-Sounds [ t ] / [ d ]

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
t tea [ti:]
t till [tɪl]
t two [tu:]
t task [tɑ: sk]
t twenty [twentɪ]
t water [‘wɔːtə]
t complete [kəm’pliːt]
t eight [eɪt]
t light [lait]
t suit [s (j) uːt]
tt better [‘betə]
tt bottle [bᴐtl]

3-Sounds [ k ] / [ g ] Consonant phonemes in English

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
c care [‘kɛə]
c clean [kliːn]
c close [kləuz]
c color [‘kʌlə]
c fact [fækt]
k keep [ki: p]
k kind [kaɪnd]
k desk [desk]
k walk [wɔːk]
ck back [bæk]
ck black [blæk]
ck check [ʧek]
ck pocket [‘pɔkɪt]
ch school [skuːl]
ch stomach [‘stʌmək]
ch chemist [‘kemɪst]
ch architect [‘ɑːkɪtekt]

4-Sounds [ f ] / [ v ] Consonant phonemes in English

In writing, the sound [ f ] is transmitted by the letter Ff ( Fred , after , flag , flight , coffee ), letter combinations ph ( photo , phone ), gh ( laugh ).

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
f friend [frend]
f first [fɜːst]
f cafe [‘kæfeɪ]
f after ‘ɑːftə]
f leaf [liːf]
ff off [ɔf]
ff coffee [‘kɔfɪ]
ph phone [fəun]
ph autograph [‘ɔːtəgrɑːf]
gh enough [ɪ`nəf]
gh laugh [lɑːf]

5-Sounds [ s ] / [ z ] Consonant phonemes in English

The English consonants [s, z] are called slit consonants, because when they are pronounced, a gap is formed between the tip of the tongue and the alveoli, through which air passes. When pronouncing English slit sounds [s, z], the tip of the tongue is raised to the alveoli, but does not touch them. The voice passes through the gap formed between the alveoli and the tip of the tongue.

In writing, the sound [ s ] is conveyed by the letter Ss ( small , pass ), the letter Сс , if there are vowels i , e , y cinema , pencil , cycle ) after it , the letter combination sc ( science ).

The letter s is read as [s] at the beginning of a word, before a consonant letter, at the end of a word after voiceless consonants: sit, best, lips. Consonant phonemes in English

The letter s is read as [z] between vowels, at the end of words after vowels and voiced consonants: music, noses, beds.

The letter c is read as [s] before the letters e, i, y and as [k] in all other cases: cent, cold.

 

Letter (combination of letters)

Example Transcription
s sick [sɪk]
s sister [‘sɪstə]
s bus [bʌs]
ss class [klɑːs]
ss glasses [‘glɑːsɪz]
c city [‘sɪtɪ]
c pencil [‘pens (ə) l]
c place [pleɪs]
c police [pə’liːs]
c pronounce [prə’naun (t) s]
sc science [‘saɪəns]
sc scissors [‘sɪzəz]

Consonant phonemes in English

6-Sounds [θ] / [ð] Consonant phonemes in English

The speech exercises below will help you understand how these sounds are pronounced.

Stick your tongue between your teeth and blow air. Make sure that the tongue is not tense and the lips are not touching the edges of the tongue. Consonant phonemes in English

– Stick your tongue between your teeth and then quickly pull it out. Repeat this exercise several times.

When pronouncing the sounds [ θ, ð ], the tongue is spread out and not tense, the tip of the tongue is between the teeth. The sound [ θ ] is pronounced deaf, and the sound [ ð ] with a voice is pronounced as voiced. Remember that your lips should not touch the edges of your tongue. You should quickly remove your tongue by the teeth so as not to interfere with the pronunciation of the subsequent sound.

In writing, the sounds [ θ, ð ] are denoted by the letter combination th . The sound [ ð ], as a rule, sounds in service words: in the definite article ( the ), in pronouns ( this, that, they, them ), at the end of words before the letter e ( bathe ). If the combination of letters th is the ending for the formation of ordinal numbers, then it is pronounced as [ θ ], for example : tenth .

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
th thick [θɪk]
th thanks [θæŋks]
th theater [‘θɪətə]
th thin [θɪn]
th Thursday [‘θɜːzdɪ]
th thirsty [‘θɜːstɪ]
th three [θriː]
th both [bəuθ]
th month [mʌnθ]
th north [nɔːθ]
th south [sauθ]
th birthday [‘bɜːθdeɪ]

Consonant phonemes in English

7-Sounds [ʃ] / [ʒ] / [h] Consonant phonemes in English

In writing, the sound [ ʃ ] is conveyed by the letter combination s h ( ship, shelf, shut, fish, finish ).

The sound [ ʒ ] has no letter match. It is pronounced only in suffixes: sure , sion ( pleasure, measure, vision ). Consonant phonemes in English

In writing, the sound [ h ] is conveyed by the letter Hh (hot, help, how, home, he, hay, high).

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
sh ship [ʃɪp]
sh sheep [ʃiːp]
sh fashion [‘fæʃ (ə) n]
sh cash [kæʃ]
sh fresh [freʃ]
sh mushroom [‘mʌʃrum]
c ocean [‘əuʃ (ə) n]
ch machine [mə’ʃiːn]
ci delicious [dɪ’lɪʃəs]
ci special [‘speʃ (ə) l]
s sugar [‘ʃugə]
s sure [ʃuə]
ss profession [prə’feʃn]
ti international [ˌꞮntə’næʃ (ə) n (ə) l]

8-Sounds [tʃ] / [ʤ] Consonant phonemes in English

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
ch chin [ʧɪn]
ch chips [ʧɪps]
ch choose [ʧuːz]
ch rich [rɪʧ]
ch March [mɑːʧ]
ch which [wɪʧ]
t future [‘fjuːʧə]
t question [‘kwesʧən]
tch catch [kæʧ]
tch match [mæʧ]
tch watch [wɔʧ]
tch kitchen [‘kɪʧɪn]

Consonant phonemes in English

9-Sounds [ m ] / [ n ] / [ŋ] Consonant phonemes in English

In writing, the sound [ n ] is conveyed by the letter Nn ( nose , nice ) and the combination of letters k n at the beginning of words ( k now, knee, knife ). Consonant phonemes in English

The sound [ m ] is conveyed by the letter Mm ( mouse , melt ) and the letter combinations mm , mb , mn ( summer , autumn , comb ).

The sound [ ŋ ] is transmitted by letter combinations ng , nc , nk ( morning , uncle , bank ).

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
m me [miː]
m more [mɔː]
m lemon [‘lemən]
m money [‘mʌnɪ]
m film [fɪlm]
m some [sʌm]
m sometimes [‘sʌmtaɪmz]
mm summer [‘sʌmə]
mb comb [kəum]
mn autumn [‘ɔːtəm]

Consonant phonemes in English

10-Sounds [ l ] / [ r ]

In writing, the sound [ r ] is denoted by the letter Rr ( Rett , rain , river , very ) and the combination of letters wr write , wrap ).

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
l learn [lɜːn]
l leave [liːv]
l language [‘læŋgwɪʤ]
l love [‘lʌv]
l alone [ə’ləun]
l feel [fiːl]
l help [help]
l english [‘ɪŋglɪʃ]
ll tall [tɔːl]
ll well [wel]
ll yellow [‘jeləu]

Consonant phonemes in English

11-Sounds [ w ] / [ j ] Consonant phonemes in English

Before uttering the sound [ w ] , you should do the following exercises:

– round your lips strongly and protrude forward, blow air into the formed round hole;

– stick out your lips, then quickly spread them apart, repeat the exercise several times.

When pronouncing the sound [ w ], the lips are strongly rounded and pushed forward, forming a round slit. Then instantly the tongue and lips move into position for pronouncing the subsequent vowel. When pronouncing [ w ], the lips are rounded and slightly protruding forward. When pronouncing [ f, v ], the upper teeth touch the lower lip.Consonant phonemes in English

In writing, the sound [ w ] is conveyed by the letter Ww ( Wayne , wait , week , wet , woe ) and the letter combination wh ( wheel , what , where ). Exception: wh + o (who [hu:], whose [hu: z], whom [hu: m].

The sound [ j ] is not represented by any single letter, it is most often denoted by the letter y if it is followed by any vowel letter ( yet, yes, yell, yield, yard, yoke) .

Letter (combination of letters) Example Transcription
w week [wi: k]
w way [weɪ]
w warm [wɔːm]
w well [wel]
w weather [‘weðə]
w windy [‘wɪndɪ]
w away [ə’weɪ]
w always [‘ɔːlweɪz]
w twelve [twelv]
wh what [wɔt]
wh white [waɪt]
wh which [wɪʧ]
wh where [wɛə]
o one [wʌn]
u language [‘læŋgwɪʤ]
u question [‘kwesʧən]
u quiet [‘kwaɪət]
u square skwɛə]

Consonant phonemes in English

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