The third Parameter
We now know that consonants can be characterised by whether or not they are:
2. Where in the mouth they are made
The third parameter explains how the airstream is obstructed as it makes its way through the vocal tract.
There are several ways in which this can occur; the articulators may close the tract completely, either for a moment or for a longer period. They could simply approach each other and modify the shape of the vocal tract in different ways. By doing this we describe the parameter as Manner of Articulation.
Try these manners of articulation: Make a /p/ sound. Both lips come together and form a seal. The air builds up behind the lips and makes a small explosion when you separate your lips. This is called a Plosive.
Now try a /m/; this time the velum is lowered blocking the air from passing through the mouth, so it exits through the nose. This is called a Nasal.
Now try an /s/; the vocal tract passage is narrowed, but not entirely closed. As the air is not blocked, this kind of sound can be held until the air runs out. This is a Fricative. If the narrowing is less pronounced, it is an Approximant or Frictionless continuant.
This time, make an /l/. Can you feel the partial closure, with the air escaping on either side of the tongue? This is a Lateral.
A plosive, quickly followed by a fricative, is called an Affricate.
Now test yourself.
Can you write the symbol for:
Now try some of the exercises on the task sheets. The more familiar you are with these, the easier the course will be.
Answers: not in order....
/ m d k s r/