UNIT 2 INTRODUCTION TO CONSONANTS

The English Consonants

Below are the list of the English consonants with a sample word for each sound. The RIGHT SIDE of the table indicates HOW the words are pronounced (MANNER OF ARTICULATION), while the UPPER PART of the table indicates WHERE in the mouth the sounds are pronounced (PLACE OF ARTICULATION).

Manner of Articulation
Place of Articulation
Bilabial (both lips) Labiodental
(lip and teeth)
Interdental (in between upper and lower teeth) Alveolar (back part of the upper teeth)

Post-alveolar (front part of the roof of the mouth)

Palatal
(back part of the roof of the mouth)
Velar (back part of the roof of the mouth) Glottal (throat)
Stop 
(The air is stopped)
/p/pen     /t/ ten     /k/ kick  
/b/ Ben     /d/ den     /g/ gig  
Fricative 
(Smooth air flows through a space. The air is causing friction).
  /f/ fan /θ/ thin /s/ Sue /ʃ/ mission     /h/ hen
  /v/ van /ð/thy /z/ zoo /ʒ/ vision      
Affricate 
(stop and then a smooth airflow with friction)
        /tʃ/ church      
        /dʒ/ Jane      
Nasal
(The air is released through the nose.)
/m/ men     /n/ nine     /ŋ/sing  
Liquid
(The sound is produced smoothly like a liquid through a small space)
      /l/ late
/r/ rate
       
Glide
(A very quick sound that is almost like a vowel)
/w/ wood         /j/ year    


The English consonant sounds are pronounced by blocking the air and sound using the articulators. There are two types of consonant sounds according to air flow; 

Continuants

(/f/, /v/, /θ/, /ð/, /s/, /z/, /ʃ/, /ʒ/, /h/, /tʃ/, /dʒ/, /m/, /n/, /ŋ/, /l/, and /r/)

Continuant sounds , both voiced and voiceless can be pronounced CONTINUOUSLY for as long as the speaker produces air and sound.

Let Us Practice

/f//ffff/, /fffffain/ fine
     /ffff/, /pʌffff/ puff

/s/ /ssss /, /ssssʌn/ sun
      /ssss/, /messss/ mess

/l//llll/, /llllait/ light
    /llll/, /meil/ mail

Stops

(/p/, /b/, /t/, /d/, /k/, /g/) 

Stop sounds are pronounced when there a COMPLETE STOP of airflow and sound. However, not all stop sounds are pronounce the same. Native speakers pronounce sounds are pronounced with a puff of air (ASPIRATE).

Aspiration

Aspiration (represented by a small /ʰ/) happens when a voiceless stop is placed in the beginning of a stressed syllable. Look at the words below. You will notice that when you pronounce voiceless stops in the middle or in the final part of a word, there is no puff of air.

Let Us Practice

/p/

         appear            [ə.pʰíɚ]
         ripper              [ɹí:pɚ]
         apply              [ə.plái]

/k/

         brick              [brík]
         wrecker         [ré.kɚ]
         accomplish    [ə.kʰɑ́m.pliʃ]

/t/

          ticket           [tʰi.kit]
         bitten            [bi.tn]
         Victor           [vík.tɚ]