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[18] Consonants

Airflows

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As I mentioned in the last lesson, vowels are defined by the unimpeded flow of air through the mouth. The moment you impede airflow through the mouth in any way, you have a new class of phoneme - a consonant. In the lesson after this one, we will review the articulation of all the consonants in your target language. But before we do that, we should first familiarize yourself with all the different options for impeding airflow through the mouth. This will make it easier for us to make sense of the different consonants sounds later. On this page, I discuss each type of consonant airflow (technically known as “Manner of Articulation”), and give a few examples of consonants for each.
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Redirect Airflow through the Nose

*Technical term: Nasal Consonant

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Direct Flow around sides of tongue

*Technical Term: Lateral Consonant

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Stop, Pressurize & Release the Flow

*Technical Term: Plosive/Stop Consonant

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Narrow the Flow with Turbulence

*Technical Term: Fricative Consonant

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Narrow the Flow without Turbulence

*Technical Term: Approximant Consonant

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Buildup & Release the Flow into Turbulence

Technical Term: Affricate Consonant

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Use Flow to Flap or Vibrate an articulator

Technical Term: Flap & Trill

Consonant Articulation

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Consonants are created when we impede airflow through the mouth in some way. There are three features that determine a consonant - place of articulation, manner of articulation and voicing. Most consonants will be familiar to you from your first language. But there will likely be quite a few new consonants for you to learn in your target language. But with enough motor control, tactile discernment and physiological awareness and understanding of how the phoneme is articulated, you will be able to master any new phoneme. There is a lot of content to cover here. Pass through it all quickly once to get a general feel, making note of the sounds you struggle with. Then post a reflection in #completions for credit. After that, go back and focus your attention on those consonants sounds you found most challenging, and post to #questions if you want specific guidance on anything.
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Spanish Consonants
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French Consonants
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Portuguese (Eu) consonants
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Portuguese (Br) consonants
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German Consonants
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English Consonants
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After you’ve covered all the consonants of your target language, you will have completed Part 2. In Part 3: Parts, we will examine how these phonemes show up as parts of the greater whole of speech.
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Mimicry Fundamentals