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58 THE CONSONANTS.
been described with the vowels. They may be called semivowels ; the same term may also be applied to r and I (usually styled liquids), the breath passing out in r between the raised tip of the tongue and the top of the upper gums, in I between the sides of the raised tongue and the side gums. The M, N, NG sounds are stopped in the mouth, but a free passage is left for them to escape through the nose; they should therefore be called nasal vowels. The easiest sounds to analyse are the explosives; they are produced by opening complete stops in the mouth, as p and b at the lips, t and d behind the upper teeth, and h and g at the back of the hard palate. These are named from their position, labials, dentals, and palatals. The stops may not be complete as in the case of / and v at the lips, th, s and z, sh and zh at the teeth; the sound may be continued through the narrowed space, hence the term continuants.
Several of the sounds are bracketed into pairs, which indicate that they are related to each other, one being the voiced sound of the other. This introduces the division of consonants into voiced (those that have some help from the larynx) and into unvoiced or breath consonants (those that depend solely upon the position of the articulatory apparatus). As far as speech is concerned this last is the most important classification, for there is some tone to be obtained from those sounds that are helped by the voice. It would seem therefore reasonable in this work to describe the voiced consonants before the breath, but for the sake of simplicity it will be better to take them in pairs, the voiced and the corresponding unvoiced sounds.
Labials. Dentals. Palatals.
The voiced consonants are The breath consonants are