What Is Place Of Articulation?

What is place of articulation?


In articulatory phonetics, the place of articulation of a consonant is the point of contact where an obstruction occurs in the vocal tract between an articulatory gesture, an active articulator, and a passive location

The ‘articulators’ are the instruments (e.g. your tongue) used to make a sound. The locations on the mouth, where the articulators are placed, are the ‘places of articulation’. Example: The two lips (the articulators) meet to form the bilabial sounds of /b/ and /p/.

Place of Articulation

  • It is the part or the position of the speech organs that alters the air that comes out of the breath passage.

Under this dimension, we have Bilabial, Labio-dental, Lingua-alveolar, Lingua-dental, Lingua-velar and Glottal.


1. Bilabial

  • Sounds are formed by both lips which are pressed or almost touching one another.

/b/, /p/, /m/  – Notice than in producing these sounds, both lips are touching each other.

/hw/, /w/  – In this sounds on the other hand, both lips are almost touching one another.


2. Labio-dental

  • Sounds are formed by the bottom lip touching the upper teeth.

/v/, /f/


3. Lingua-dental

  • Sounds are formed with the tip of the tongue against or touching the teeth.

/θ/ /ð/


4. Lingua-alveolar

  • Sounds are formed with either the tip or blade of the tongue against or touching the alveolar bridge.

/t/, /d/, /r,/ /∫/, /ʒ/, /n/, /l/, /t∫/, /dʒ/


5. Lingua-velar

  • Sounds formed by the back of the tongue against the soft palate.

/k/, /g/, /ŋ/


6. Glottal

  • Sounds formed by closing the glottis or the opening of the vocal cords.


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