A consonant classification chart shows where the different consonant sounds are created in the mouth and throat area. This is important especially when trying to help children or adults learn to speak properly if they have speech problems.
To understand what a consonant classification chart is, you can see one online or in a linguistics textbook. A downloadable consonant classification chart can be found here. For the non-linguist, this chart can be difficult to read and understand. The purpose of the chart is to show where in the mouth different consonant sounds derive and how much air is needed to create the sounds. For this reason, the chart often has the location of the sound (place) across the top and the way the sound is produced (manner) down the side
Bilabial - uses both lips to create the sound such as the beginning sounds in pin, bust, well and the ending sound in seem.
Labiodental - uses the lower lip and upper teeth; examples include fin and van.
Dental/interdental - creates sound between the teeth such as the and thin.
Alveolar - is a sound created with the tongue and the ridge behind the upper teeth; examples include the beginning sounds of tin, dust, sin, zoo, and late and the /n/ in scene.
Palatal - uses the tongue and the hard palate to created the following sounds: shin, treasure, cheep, jeep, rate and yell.
Velar - makes the sound using the soft palate in the back of the mouth; sounds include kin, gust, and the -ng in sing.
Glottal- is a sound made in the throat between the vocal cords such as in the word hit
The manner of articulation means how the sound is made using the different places of articulation, tongue placement, whether the sound is voiced or unvoiced and the amount of air needed.
Stops - air coming from the lungs is stopped at some point during the formation of the sound. Some of these sounds are unvoiced, such as pin, tin, and kin; some of these are voiced, such as bust, dust and gust.
Fricatives - restricted air flow causes friction but the air flow isn’t completely stopped. Unvoiced examples include fin, thin, sin, shin, and hit; voiced examples include van, zoo, the, and treasure.
Affricates - are combinations of stops and fricatives. Cheap is an example of an unvoiced affricate and jeep is an example of an voiced.
Nasals - as expected, the air is stopped from going through the mouth and is redirected into the nose. Voiced examples include seem, seen, scene, and sing.
Liquids - almost no air is stopped; voiced exampled included late and rate.
Glides - sometimes referred to as “semi-vowels,” the air passes through the articulators to create vowel like sounds but the letters are known as consonants. Examples include well and yell.
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