2 Segmentals: Consonants

When learning the distinct consonant phonemes of North American English (NAE), there are three main dimensions for which they can be distinguished: Voicing, Place of Articulation, and Manner of Articulation.

Places and Manners of Articulation

Place of Articulation refers to where the sound is made in the mouth. In NAE, there are seven places of articulation:

Manner of Articulation refers to how the sound is made. In NAE, there are six manners of articulation:


Table 1. The Classification of Consonant Sounds

Manner of Articulation Voicing       Place of Articulation      
Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop Voiceless
Fricative Voiceless
Affricate Voiceless
Nasal Voiced /m/ /n/ /ŋ/
Liquid Voiced /l/ /r/ /ɫ/
Glide Voiced /w/ /y/




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Oral Communication for Non-Native Speakers of English Copyright © 2020 by Timothy Kochem, Monica Ghosh, Lily Compton, and Elena Cotos is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.