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: , , and .

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:

  • , or plosive
  • (glide/liquid)


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.

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