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Type of obstruction and the manner of the production of noise


There are two types of articulatory obstruction: completeand incomplete. When the obstruction is complete the organs of speech are in contact and the air stream meets a closure in the mouth or nasal cavities as in the production of the English [p, b, t, d, k, g, t∫, ʤ, m, n, ŋ]. In other words, the complete obstruction is formed when two organs of speech come in contact with each other and the air passage is blocked.

In case of incomplete obstruction the active organ of speech moves towards the point of articulation and the air stream goes through the narrowing between them as in the production of the English [f, v, s, z, θ, ð, ∫, ʒ, h, w, l, r, j]. In other words, the incomplete obstruction is formed when the articulating organ is held so close to the point of articulation as to narrow or constrict the air passage without blocking it.

According to the manner of noise production and the type of obstruction the consonants are divided into occlusive and constrictive.

Occlusive consonants are sounds in the production of which the air stream meets a complete obstruction in the mouth. According to the principle of voice or noise prevalence, they are subdivided into noise consonants and sonorants. Noise consonants are divided into plosive consonants and affricates.

In the production of plosive consonants the breath is completely stopped at some point of articulation and then it is released with a slight explosion [p, b, t, d, k, g]. They are also called stops.

In the production of affricates the speech organs form a complete obstruction which is released so slowly that considerable friction occurs at the point of articulation [t∫, ʤ].

Occlusive sonorants are also made with a complete obstruction but the soft palate is lowered and the air stream escapes through the nose, so they are nasal.

Constrictive consonants are produced with an incomplete obstruction, so the air passage is constricted. They are divided into noise consonants or fricatives and sonorants.

In the production of fricatives the speech organs form an incomplete obstruction, so the air escapes through the narrowing with friction [f, v, θ, ð, s, z, ∫, ʒ, h].

Constrictive sonorantsare also made with an incomplete obstruction but with a rather wide air passage; so tone prevails over noise [w, r, l, j]. They are all oral, because in their production the soft palate is raised.

The consonants of this group are divided into medial and laterial. Medial sonorants are produced when the air escapes without audible friction over the central part of the tongue. The sides of the tongue are raised [w, r, j].

In the production of laterial consonants the tongue is pressed against the alveolar ridge and the sides of the tongue are lowed [l].


Sound [p]

Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper

A peck of pickled pepper Peter Piper picked.

If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled pepper

Where's the peck of pickled pepper that

Peter Piper picked.

Sound [b]

Betty Botta bought some butter,

But, she said, “This butter's bitter.

If I put it in my batter

It will make my batter bitter.

But a bit of better butter

Will make my batter better.”

So she bought a bit of butter

Better than the bitter butter

And she put it in her batter

And it made her batter better

So it was better Betty Botta bought a bit of better butter.

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