Update: 2004-03-21 05:26 PM -0500

TIL

Consonants
Online Phonetics Course

Department of Linguistics, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.
http://www.unil.ch/ling/english/phonetique/table-eng.html
http://www.unil.ch/ling/english/index.html

Authors' last updated: 13 January 1999. Translated from French by Daniel Ezra Johnson. Most figures on this page were adapted to English by Athanasius Lance Arron Hamilton. Please send any remarks or comments to Christophe.Pythoud@ling.unil.ch

Downloaded and edited by U Kyaw Tun, M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.). Not for sale. Prepared for students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, MYANMAR.

UKT:
• The UNIL web-pages used glyphs (graphics in .gif format) to show the phonetic characters. This slows down the opening of the web-page. However I have used Arial Unicode MS exclusively. If the IPA character schwa [ ə ] appears on your computer with almost the same shape as  , then be assured that most of the characters that is displayed on your computer screen is correct.
• I have also incorporated large sections from web-pages of Kevin Russell Linguistics Department, University of Manitoba (UMB), Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3T 5V5, CANADA  http://www.umanitoba.ca/faculties/arts/linguistics/russell/138/notes.htm
• The Burmese characters are gif-glyphs and you need not have any Burmese font.
• This paper is for those who can read and write Myanmar sar {myan'ma sa}. Please see my message To Myanmars.

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03.Consonants

Remember: If the air stream is partially or totally blocked, it's a consonant. That's what distinguishes consonants from vowels.

There are two distinct types of consonant:
• when the passage of air is fully blocked, and the sound results from the sudden release of this blockage: the “occlusives”;
• when the passage of air is restricted but not fully stopped: the continuants, of which the fricatives are representative.

UKT: Another term used in connection with continuants is sonorants
   from: www.unibuc.ro/eBooks/filologie/mateescu/pdf/34
   Not all continuant sounds are produced, however, with friction, as is the case of fricatives, mentioned above. There are sounds in English (and other languages as well, of course) the pronunciation of which does not involve a major obstruction in the speech tract and does not produce the auditory effect of friction that characterize fricatives. Such sounds are commonly called approximants or frictionless continuants. The glides and the liquids are the two major subclasses of approximants.
   There are 4 Bama continuants used to produce more consonants or conjuncts: {ya.},  {ra.}, {wa.}, and {ha.}. See {ya.pin.} , {ra.ris.} , {wa.hswθ:} and {ha.hto:} . Two of them {ya.} and { {wa.} can be considered to be semivowels.

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03.01."Occlusive" Consonants

The “occlusives” require a complete closure of the speech canal, not just a restriction. This distinguishes them from the continuants.

The “occlusion” is twofold:
• the airstream is halted by a sudden closure in the speech canal;
• the trapped air is freed by abruptly releasing the closure.

UKT: The opposite of "occlusives" are the "continuants" -- "exclusive" and "inclusive" are not linguistic terms.
• occlusive n. Linguistics 1. An oral or a nasal stop. -- AHTD.

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03.01.01. Oral Stops (Oral Plosives)

13 characters

UKT:
• If you have access to the Internet you can hear each sound by clicking on the appropriate paragraph title.
• By clicking on the Unicode number, you can listen to the mp3 sound files from UNIL in the TIL database.
• To understand the figures from UNIL more fully, refer to Sagittal section of nose, mouth, pharynx and larynx from Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, 1918. Compare them with figure given in ESL Start-up Kit, ed O. Ebert and W. Hawk

  Articulation Figure
[ p ] U0070 Voiceless bilabial stop. The lips are pressed tightly together. Fig.3.1. There exists a corresponding lax articulation in Voiceless bilabial spirant [ ɸ ] that is one of the spirants. (UNIL)
UKT: UNIL states "The IPA uses the same symbol [ ɸ ] for the spirant and the fricative. If there is a great deal of muscular tension, the sound is a fricative; if not, the result is a spirant."
[ b ] U0062 Voiced bilabial stop. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. The corresponding bilabial nasal [ m ] is usually voiced as well. There is also a corresponding lax articulation in voiced bilabial spirant [ β ]  that is one of the spirants. (UNIL)
[ t ] U0074 Voiceless dental or alveolar stop. The tongue makes contact with the front teeth or with the alveolar ridge (UKT: Place and manner of articulation) directly above them. Fig.3.2. There exists a corresponding lax articulation in voiceless dental spirant [ θ ] that is one of the spirants. (UNIL)
[ d ] U0064 Voiced dental or alveolar stop. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. The corresponding dental or alveolar nasal [ n ] is usually voiced as well. There is also a corresponding lax articulation in voiced dental spirant [ π ] that is one of the spirants. (UNIL)
[ ʈ ] U0288 Voiceless retroflex stop. The tongue curves up and back so that its tip or its underside makes contact with the roof of the mouth. Fig.3.3.
Warning! Do not confuse this symbol with that of the ordinary voiceless dental or alveolar stop! (see [ t ] Fig.3.2) (UNIL)
UKT: [ ʈ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ɖ ] U0256 Voiced retroflex stop. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. The corresponding retroflex nasal is usually voiced as well. (UNIL)
UKT: [ ɖ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
 [ c ] U0063 Voiceless palatal stop. The tongue tip is directed down towards the lower teeth, while the tongue body makes contact with the hard palate. Fig.3.4. (It is important to distinguish between the true palatal articulation and that of a dental + [j].) (UNIL)
UKT: [ c ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ɟ ] U025F Voiced palatal stop. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. The corresponding palatal nasal palatale is usually voiced as well. (UNIL)
UKT: [ ɟ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ k ] U006B Voiceless velar stop. With the tongue tip resting against the lower teeth, the back of the tongue makes contact with the soft palate (Fig.3.5.). (UNIL)
[ g ] U0067 Voiced velar stop. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. The corresponding velar nasal is usually voiced as well. (UNIL)
[ q ] U0071 Voiceless uvular stop. The tongue tip remains placed against the lower teeth, and the tongue body is raised far enough back to make contact with the soft palate near the uvula (Fig.3.6.). (UNIL)
UKT: [ q ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ɢ ] U0262 Voiced uvular stop. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. The corresponding uvular nasal is usually voiced as well. (UNIL)
UKT: [ ɢ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ʔ ] U0294 Glottal stop. The glottal stop is produced either by the sudden opening of the glottis under pressure from the air below, or by the abrupt closure of the glottis to block the air-stream. The glottal stop is always voiceless, as the complete closure of the vocal cords precludes their vibration. (UNIL)

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03.01.02. Nasals

7 characters

The nasal “occlusives” of the vast majority of the world's languages are voiced. Voiceless nasals exists but they and their symbols are not included below.

During the production of these nasal “occlusives”, the soft palate is lowered to a greater or lesser extent, allowing a portion of the air stream to pass through the nasal cavity. Occlusion occurs in the mouth only; the nasal resonance is continuous. Indeed, many linguists rank the nasals among the continuants.

UKT:
• If you have access to the Internet you can hear each sound by clicking on the appropriate paragraph title.
• By clicking on the Unicode number, you can listen to the mp3 sound files from UNIL in the TIL database.
• To understand the figures from UNIL more fully, refer to Sagittal section of nose, mouth, pharynx and larynx from Henry Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, 1918.

  Articulation Figure
[ m ] U006D Bilabial nasal. The mouth is configured just as for the corresponding bilabial stop: the lips are pressed tightly together. Fig.3.7. (UNIL)
[ ɱ ] U0271 Labiodental nasal. The lower lip is pressed very firmly against the upper teeth. It is difficult to make a perfect occlusion (i.e. an airtight seal) at this location; for the sound to come out properly, a great deal of air pressure must be produced in addition to the tense articulation. Fig.3.8. There does exist an oral counterpart to this sound, but it is very rare and the IPA does not even include it in its tables. (And we won't include it either.) (UNIL)
UKT: [ ɱ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ n ] U006E Dental or alveolar nasal. The mouth is configured just as for the corresponding dental or alveolar stop: The tongue makes contact either with the front teeth, or with the alveolar ridge directly above them. (UNIL)
[ ɳ ] U0273 Retroflex nasal. The mouth is configured just as for the corresponding retroflex stop: the tongue curves up and back so that its tip or its underside makes contact with the roof of the mouth. Fig.3.9. (UNIL)
UKT: [ ɳ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ɲ ] U0272 Palatal nasal. The mouth is configured just as for the corresponding palatal stop: the tongue tip is directed down towards the lower teeth, while the tongue body makes contact with the hard palate. Fig.3.10. (It is important to distinguish between the true palatal articulation and that of a dental + [j]. (UNIL)
UKT: [ ɳ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ŋ ] U014B Velar nasal. The configuration of the mouth is very close to that of the corresponding velar stop: with the tongue tip resting against the lower teeth, the back of the tongue makes contact with the soft palate. Fig.3.11. But as the soft palate is lowered (to allow air to flow through the nasal cavity), the tongue's movement is more important for the nasal than for the oral sound. (UNIL)
UKT: [ ŋ ] is present in English only in the coda of the syllable (DJPD16)
[ ɴ ] U0274 Uvular nasal. The mouth is configured as for the corresponding uvular stop (the tongue tip remains placed against the lower teeth, and the tongue body is raised far enough back to make contact with the soft palate at the uvula), bearing in mind that, with the lowering of the palate, this is easier to accomplish for the nasal sound. Fig.3.12.). (UNIL)
UKT: [ ɴ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)

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03.02. Fricatives

Fricative consonants result from a narrowing of the speech canal that does not achieve the full closure characteristic of the occlusives. The shape and position of the lips and/or tongue determine the type of fricative produced.
We distinguish below between so-called true fricatives and the related class of Spirants.

UKT: The IPA uses the same symbol for the spirant and the fricative.

During the production of a fricative, the air-stream can be directed in several ways:

• the tongue channels the air through the center of the mouth in the case of the dorsal fricatives, described below under true fricatives. Fig.3.13.a.);

• the tongue channels the air down the side(s) of the mouth in the case of the lateral fricatives. Fig.3.13.b.) (UKT: Fig.3.13.b. is also given as Figure 3.25: Position of the tongue in lateral fricatives and spirants

• the shape and position of the tongue is not important in the case of the labial and dental fricatives (which makes sense because the place of articulation is not, strictly speaking, in the oral cavity at all); these are listed among the true fricatives and the spirants below; their special status is noted in each case.

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03.02.01. True Fricatives

20 characters

UKT:
• Of the 5 spirants [ɸ, β, θ, π, ɹ], only two [ɸ, β] are classed also as true fricatives by UNIL.
• [θ, π] are classed by DJPD16 as dental fricatives.
• Voiceless dental spirant [θ] and Voiced dental spirant [π] are not classed as true fricatives by UNIL. This is important in transliteration of Myanmar because Myanmar {tha.} behaves almost like the English [θ] in <this> and [π] in <that>. Myanmar {tha.} though present in Myanmar Pali is absent in International Pali where it is represented as [sa].

This section describes the dorsal fricatives and the fricatives where the dorsal/ lateral opposition is unimportant.

Among the fricatives below are ones described as hissers and hushers. The realization of a hisser requires a high degree of tension in the tongue: a groove is formed along the whole length of the tongue, in particular at the place of articulation where the air passes through a little round opening. Fig.3.14.a.  The hushers are produced similarly, but with a shallower groove in the tongue, and a little opening more oval than round. The lips are often rounded or projected outwards during the realization of a husher. Fig.3.14.b.

UKT:
• If you have access to the Internet you can hear each sound by clicking on the appropriate paragraph title.
• By clicking on the Unicode number, you can listen to the mp3 sound files from UNIL in the TIL database.

  Articulation Figure
[ ɸ ] U0278 Voiceless bilabial fricative. The lips are close together but do not touch, and usually the lower lip is slightly further forward than the upper lip. This symbol stands for both a fricative articulation and a spirant articulation, according to the degree of tension of the articulators (Fig.3.15.). This spirant can be considered the lax counterpart of the the stop [p]. Considering its place of articulation, it is unimportant to class this sound as dorsal or lateral. (UNIL)
UKT: • [ ɸ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
         • [ ɸ ] is also classed as Voiceless bilabial spirant
[ β ] U03B2 Voiced bilabial fricative. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. This symbol stands for both a fricative articulation and a spirant articulation, according to the degree of tension of the articulators. The spirant is the lax counterpart of the the stop [b]. Considering its place of articulation, it is unimportant to class this sound as dorsal or lateral. (UNIL)
UKT: • [ β ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
         • [ β ] is also classed as Voiced bilabial spirant
[ f ] U0066 Voiceless labiodental fricative. The lower lip is brought close to the upper teeth, occasionally even grazing the teeth with its outer surface, or with its inner surface, imparting in this case a slight hushing sound. Fig.3.16. Considering its place of articulation, it is unimportant to class this sound as dorsal or lateral. (UNIL)
[ v ] U0076 Voiced labiodental fricative. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. Considering its place of articulation, it is unimportant to class this sound as dorsal or lateral. (UNIL)
[ s ] U0073 Voiceless alveolar fricative (hisser). The apico-alveolar hissers are produced by bringing the end of the tongue close to the alveolar ridge. Fig.3.17.  These hissers can be divided into three categories, according to the precise part of the tongue that comes into play. Coronal implies the front margin of the tongue (as in English), apical the very tip (as in Castilian Spanish), and post-dental the front part of the tongue body (as in French). The quality of the sound is noticeably altered; the IPA uses diacritical marks to indicate distinctions of this magnitude. In terms of general tongue shape, this articulation qualifies as a hisser. (UNIL)
[ z ] U007A Voiced alveolar fricative (hisser). Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. The remarks made for the voiceless sound are equally valid for the voiced variant. (UNIL)
[ ʂ ] U0282 Voiceless retroflex fricative (hisser). The tongue tip is directed up and back; the underside of the tongue approaches the roof of the mouth  Fig.3.18.  In reality, this retroflex fricative, like its voiced counterpart below, is often realized as a husher, since the tongue groove is generally not narrow enough to produce a true hissing sound. The IPA uses the same symbol for both possibilities. (See above regarding the characteristic tongue shape of the hissers.) (UNIL)
UKT: [ ʂ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ʐ ] U0290 Voiced retroflex fricative (hisser). Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. (UNIL)
UKT: [ ʐ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ʃ ] U0283 Voiceless alveolar fricative (husher). The tip of the tongue touches the alveolar ridge; the shape of the tongue is that described for hushers in general. Fig.3.19. (UNIL)
UKT: Present in English. Also classified as post-alveolar fricative (DJPD16)
[ ʒ ] /ʒ/ U0292 Voiced alveolar fricative (husher). Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. (UNIL)
UKT: Present in English. Also classified as post-alveolar fricative (DJPD16)
[ η ] U00E7 Voiceless palatal fricative (hisser). The tongue body forms a groove and approaches the hard palate. Fig.3.20. In terms of general tongue shape, this articulation qualifies as a hisser. (UNIL)
UKT: [ η ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ j ] U006A Voiced palatal fricative (hisser). Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. (UNIL)
UKT: English semivowel y is represented phonetically by [ j ]. [ j ] is also classified as post-alveolar approximant (DJPD16), and also as a semivowel.
[ x ] U0078 Voiceless velar fricative. The back of the tongue is raised to approach the soft palate (Fig.3.21) (UNIL)
[ ɣ ] U0263 Voiced velar fricative. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. Warning: do not confuse this symbol (large gamma) with that of the unrounded half-closed back vowel (small gamma). (UNIL)
UKT: U0264 [ ɤ ] is upper-mid back unrounded vowel (Unicode4)
UKT: [ ɣ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ χ ] U03C7 Voiceless uvular fricative. The tongue body is raised far enough back to approach the soft palate near the uvula (Fig.3.22). (UNIL)
UKT: [ χ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ʁ ] U0281 Voiced uvular fricative. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. (UNIL)
UKT: [ ʁ ] is NOT present in English (DJPD16)
[ ħ ] U0127 Voiceless pharyngeal fricative. The root of the tongue is retracted towards the back wall of the pharynx. The airstream is thus restricted considerably and the friction quite strong. This is a very tense articulation (Fig.3.23). (UNIL)
[ ʕ ] U0295 Voiced pharyngeal fricative. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. (UNIL)
[ h ] U0068 Voiceless glottal fricative. The glottis is almost completely closed, except for a narrow opening in its upper part at the level of the arythenoidal cartilage (Fig.3.24).  A strong friction develops when air flows through this opening. (UNIL)
UKT: {ha.hto:} - The counterpart of [ h ] in Bama is {ha.}. It is used to add a glottal sound ( {ha.hto:} sound} to nasals: e.g. {na.} + {ha.} –> + –> {nha.}
[ ɦ ] U0266 Voiced glottal fricative. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. (UNIL)

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03.02.02. Spirants

5 characters

Spirants involve the same restriction of the speech canal as fricatives, but the speech organs are substantially less tense during the articulation of a spirant. Rather than friction, a resonant sound is produced at the place of articulation.

Basically, friction and fricatives develop from tense articulations; when the articulation is lax, resonance, and thus a spirant, occurs. Also realize that many spirants can be thought of as the lax counterparts of stop consonants. These correspondances are noted in the descriptions below.

UKT:
• If you have access to the Internet you can hear each sound by clicking on the appropriate paragraph title.
• By clicking on the Unicode number, you can listen to the mp3 sound files from UNIL in the TIL database.
• Though UNIL did not include any figures in the table below, I have still retained a column under "Figure".

  Articulation Figure
[ ɸ ] U0278 Voiceless bilabial spirant. The IPA uses the same symbol for the spirant and the fricative. If there is a great deal of muscular tension, the sound is a fricative; if not, the result is a spirant. For more details, see the general description of fricatives. This spirant can be considered the lax realization of the stop [p]. (UNIL)
UKT: • DJPD16 did not list [ ɸ ] as an English consonant.
        • [ ɸ ] is also classed by UNIL as.voiceless bilabial (true) fricative
NA
[ β ] U03B2 Voiced bilabial spirant. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. This symbol represents the fricative as well as the spirant, according to the degree of tension of the articulators. The spirant is the tantτt l'articulation spirante, selon que les organes phonateurs lax counterpart of the stop [b]. (UNIL)
UKT: • DJPD16 did not list [ β ] as an English consonant.
        • [ β ] is also classed by UNIL. voiced bilabial (true) fricative
NA
[ θ ] U03B8. Voiceless dental spirant. The tongue tip is held close to the upper teeth, either behind them (dental) or just underneath them (the interdental articulation). This spirant is the lax counterpart of the the stop [t]. Considering its place of articulation, it is unimportant to class this sound as dorsal or lateral. (UNIL)
UKT: UNIL does NOT class [θ] as a true fricative.
NA
[ π ] U00F0. Voiced dental spirant. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. This spirant is the lax counterpart of the stop [d]. (UNIL)
UKT: UNIL does NOT class [π] as a true fricative.
NA
[ ɹ ] U0279. Alveolar spirant. The tongue tip, without much muscular tension, approaches the alveolar ridge. No groove is formed, as opposed to the case of the hissers and hushers. The same symbol is used regardless of voice; the voiced variant is the typical American 'r'. (UNIL)
UKT: UNIL does NOT class [ɹ] as a true fricative.
NA

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03.03. Laterals

Laterals are generally considered to be a special case, since physically speaking they could be grouped among the fricatives and spirants.

They are called laterals since, during their production, the back of the tongue makes contact with the hard palate while the front of the tongue sinks down, channeling the air laterally around the tongue, down the side (or sometimes both sides) of the mouth (Figure 3.25.) (UKT note:  Fig.3.25 is the same as Fig.3.13b except for the caption.). (On the other hand, for non-lateral articulations, the back of the tongue rests against the top molars, and the air flows over the tongue down the center of the mouth.)

Figure 3.25 : Position of the tongue in lateral fricatives and spirants

There are two distinct types of lateral:
Lateral fricatives, where the articulation, requiring a great deal of muscular tension, resembles that of the fricatives (except for the position of the tongue);
Non-fricative lateral, often called liquids, whose articulation is very close to the spirants'.

The location of the lateral channel through which the air flows is unimportant: whether it is on the left, the right, or both sides of the mouth, the nature of the sound produced is unchanged.

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03.03.01. Lateral Fricatives

2 characters

UKT:
• If you have access to the Internet you can hear each sound by clicking on the appropriate paragraph title.
• By clicking on the Unicode number, you can listen to the mp3 sound files from UNIL in the TIL database.

  Articulation Figure
[ ɬ ] U026C Voiceless dental or alveolar lateral fricative. For the dental, the tongue tip makes contact with the inside of the upper teeth; for the alveolar, the tongue tip rests on the alveolar ridge. The tongue is strongly flexed and the air is forced through a narrow oval cavity, producing a hushing sound. Fig.3.26a and Fig.3.26b. (UNIL)
[ ɮ ] U026E Voiced dental or alveolar lateral fricative. Same as above, but with vibration of the vocal cords. (UNIL)

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03.03.02. Non-Fricative Laterals

-- 3 characters

This section contains the non-fricative laterals (or liquids, which are rather spirant-like in character.

No distinction is made here between voiceless and voiced variants (it is very rare to for a language to distinguish laterals according to voice).

UKT:
• If you have access to the Internet you can hear each sound by clicking on the appropriate paragraph title.
• By clicking on the Unicode number, you can listen to the mp3 sound files from UNIL in the TIL database.

  Articulation Figure
[ l ] U006C (small L) Dental or alveolar non-fricative lateral. For the dental, the tongue tip makes contact with the inside of the upper teeth; for the alveolar, the tongue tip rests on the alveolar ridge. The air flows over the sides of the tongue. Fig.3.26a and Fig.3.26b. (UNIL)
[ ɭ ] U026D Retroflex non-fricative lateral. The tip of the tongue curves up and back and its underside makes contact with the roof of the mouth. The sides of the tongue are lowered to allow the passage of air. Fig.3.27. (UNIL)
[ ʎ ] U028E Palatal non-fricative lateral. The front part of the tongue is pressed against the hard palate. The tongue is arched to allow the passage of air. Fig.3.28. (UNIL)

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03.04. "Vibrant" Consonants
-- Trills and Taps

These consonants involve one or more tapping or flapping vibrations of the speech organs under pressure from the airstream. Part of the tongue makes contact with the palate, most commonly at the alveolar ridge, the soft palate, or the uvula. One or more very brief occlusions occur successively, accompanied by short resonances. Vibrants are generally voiced. A small subscript circle may be added to any of the symbols below (and to any IPA symbol in general) to indicate a voiceless variant.

There are two distinct classes of vibrant:
• those with only one vibration, called taps;
• those with multiple vibrations, called trills.

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03.04.01. Taps

3 Characters

UKT:
• If you have access to the Internet you can hear each sound by clicking on the appropriate paragraph title.
• By clicking on the Unicode number, you can listen to the mp3 sound files from UNIL in the TIL database.

  Articulation Figure
[ ɾ ] U027E Alveolar tap. The alveolar region serves as the target for the tongue tip, which vibrates there briefly before falling back to rest against the lower teeth. Fig.3.29. (UNIL)
[ ɽ ] U027D Retroflex tap. The tip of the tongue curves up and back, and its underside vibrates briefly against the roof of the mouth, before falling back to rest against the lower teeth (Fig.3.30). (UNIL)
[ ʀ ] U0280 Velar or uvular tap. Here the body of the tongue serves as the site of vibration: the soft palate or uvula vibrates briefly against it. Fig.3.31 below). (UNIL)

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03.04.02. Trills
-- 1 character

UKT:
• If you have access to the Internet you can hear each sound by clicking on the appropriate paragraph title.
• By clicking on the Unicode number, you can listen to the mp3 sound files from UNIL in the TIL database.

  Articulation Figure
[ r ] U0072 Alveolar trill. The alveolar region serves as the target for the tongue tip, which vibrates there under pressure from the air-stream behind. The vibration produces occlusive sounds and vocalic-type resonances in rapid alternation. This is the famous “rolled r” of Spanish and other languages (Fig.3.29 again). (UNIL)
UKT: {ra.ris} - The counterpart of [ r ] in Bama is {ra.}. It is used to add a rhotic or "rolled r" sound ( {ra.ris} sound} to many consonants:
e.g. {ka.} + {ra.} –> + –> {kra.}

 

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UKT notes

continuant

• Pronounce the Myanmar {ka.} without stopping. To a person who has not heard the very beginning, the only sound she would be hearing is a continuous {a} or [aaaaa....], and she would not know that the very first part was [k]. Now, pronounce the Myanmar {sa.} without stopping. Even to the person who has not heard the first part she would be hearing [sssss...] and would know that the very first part is [s]. {ka.} is a stop or occlusive, whereas {sa.} is a continuant. {ka.} is turned into a continuant by "lifting" with ( {ya.pin.} ) when it becomes .
• There are several confusing terms -- first the dictionary meanings:
- continuant
 A consonant, such as s, z, m, or l, that can be prolonged as long as the breath lasts without a change in quality. -- AHTD
- fricative  A consonant, such as f or s in English, produced by the forcing of breath through a constricted passage. Also Called spirant. -- AHTD
- spirant  A term used differently by different authorities; -- by some as equivalent to fricative, -- that is, as including all the continuous consonants, except the nasals m, n, ng; with the further exception, by others, of the liquids r, l, and the semivowels w, y; by others limited to f, v, th surd and sonant, and the sound of German ch, -- thus excluding the sibilants, as well as the nasals, liquids, and semivowels. -- Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, 1996, 1998 MICRA, Inc
- spirant adj produced by forcing air through a constricted passage (as `f'. `s', `z', or `th' (in both `thin' and `then')) [syn: fricative, sibilant] n : a continuant consonant produced by breath moving against a narrowing of the vocal tract [syn: fricative consonant, fricative] -- WordNet 1.6, 1997 Princeton Univ
- sibilant adj. Of, characterized by, or producing a hissing sound like that of (s) or (sh): the sibilant consonants; a sibilant bird call. n. A sibilant speech sound, such as English (s), (sh), (z), or (zh). -- AHTD

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Sonorants. The Approximants: glides and liquids

from: www.unibuc.ro/eBooks/filologie/mateescu/pdf/34

Not all continuant sounds are produced, however, with friction, as is the case of fricatives, mentioned above. There are sounds in English (and other languages as well, of course) the pronunciation of which does not involve a major obstruction in the speech tract and does not produce the auditory effect of friction that characterize fricatives. Such sounds are commonly called approximants or frictionless continuants. The glides and the liquids are the two major subclasses of approximants.

The glides are sounds such as [ w ] and [ j ] in English words like <wife> and <young>. Articulatorily, they have a predominantly vocalic character since no major obstacle can be identified when analyzing the way in which these sounds are uttered. If this is a feature that emphasizes their vocalic character, their distribution is not, however, that of a vowel; they can never be syllable nuclei (they are not syllabic in SPE terminology) and they always precede a genuine vowel. Because of their dual nature they are traditionally called semivowels or semiconsonants, the very coexistence of the two names suggesting the uncertainty and hesitation of specialists, confronted with their ambiguous nature. A more detailed description of glides will be given later, when diphthongs are discussed.

Liquids constitute an important subclass of sonorants. Their high level of sonority places them, like the glides and the nasals, between vowels and genuine consonants. Liquids can be lateral sounds like [ l ] – the name comes from the fact that when we utter these sounds the air is released laterally on one or both sides of the tongue -– or rhotics like [ r ] – the name comes from the Greek word rho, designating the letter R in the Greek alphabet. If in standard English the sound has the features of an approximant, more exactly of a glide-like sound, being produced without any kind of friction, in certain dialects of English when this sound is uttered the tongue is placed against the alveolar ridge and caused to vibrate, generating a sonorous, intermittent sound as the tongue touches the passive articulator quickly and repeatedly, interrupting the outgoing airstream. It is the kind of [ r ] that appears in Spanish words like Rodrigo, real, etc. or in the interjection brrrr! that accompanies a shivering sensation. It is called the rolled or trilled [ r ]. If when the sound is uttered the tongue rapidly touches with only one movement the post-alveolar region we have a tap or flap type of rhotic. If the tip of the tongue is drawn even further back, the rhotic thus articulated is called retroflex.

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