Consonant In Phonetics

In phonetics , consonant is any phoneme characterized by some obstruction or constriction in one or more points of the vocal tract . It derives from the consonant Latin , which literally means “sounding + with = consonant”, which describes another characteristic of consonants: they cannot appear alone in a syllable, as they must be accompanied by at least one vowel . This feature, however, is not valid for all sounds currently classified as consonants.


  • 1Alphabet
  • 2Classification
  • 3See also
  • 4External links


The term consonant is also used to classify the letters of the alphabet, because of the sound they represent. In Portuguese alphabet , the consonants are called: B , C , D , F , G , J , K , L , M , N , P , Q , R , S , T , V , W , X , Z . The letter H is not properly named nor according tonor a vowel because it has no sound or noise and therefore it becomes the only diacritical letter . Depending on the original language of the word, W can be a consonant or vowel because it has a sound of / u / and / v / at the same time and Y can be considered a vowel because it has a sound of / i /.

Since the number of consonants in all human languages ​​is much greater than the number of consonant letters in any alphabet, linguists adopt systems like the international phonetic alphabet to represent each consonant by a single symbol. Indeed, the Latin alphabet , used to write Portuguese, has fewer consonant letters than consonant sounds, and some letters represent more than one consonant.

Classification edit edit source code ]

Each consonant can be distinguished in several ways:

  • The mode of articulation is the method in which the consonant is articulated, such as nasal , occlusive or approximate , among others.
  • The point of articulation is the place in the vocal tract where the consonant was articulated, such as bilabial , alveolar and velar . Additionally, there may be an influence of more than one point of articulation, such as palatalization and pharyngealization .
  • The phonation mode is whether the vocal cords vibrate or not during the consonant articulation. If they vibrate, then the consonant is loud , otherwise it is deaf . The aspiration is also a feature of phonation.
  • The mechanism of the air passage is how the air moves during the joint. Most languages ​​have exclusively pulmonary consonants , but there are ejective , implosive and click consonants , which have different mechanisms.
by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

Leave a Comment