Articulating organ

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MRI recording of the speaking process, showing the movements of the tongue and other articulators.

Places of articulation: 1. exolabial 2. endolabial 3. dental 4. alveolar 5. postalveolar 6. prepalatal 7. palatal 8. velar 9. uvular 10. pharyngeal 11. glottal 12. epiglottal 13. radical 14. posterodorsal 15. anterodorsal 16. laminal 17. apical 18. sublaminal

The articulation organ or articulator , colloquially also speech instrument, is used in phonetics to describe the relatively flexible, mostly lower part of the vocal tract , which is used in articulation , a sub-process of sound formation. With the formation of consonants or semi-vowels , two parts of the vocal path are brought into contact or approximated with one another. The upper, rather immobile part is the place of articulation .

In phonetics, the following organs of articulation are distinguished:

Since the vocal cords are also the place of articulation of the glottal sounds, they are not always explicitly stated as the articulator.

In contrast to voicing , articulation location and mode , the articulators are normally not used to name individual sounds, but can be used in individual cases for distinction.

Sound designations according to the organ and place of articulation
designation Articulating organ Articulation place example
bilabial Lower lip (labium inferius) Upper lip (labium superius) [⁠ p ⁠] [⁠ b ⁠] [⁠ m ⁠]
labiodental bottom lip upper incisors [⁠ f ⁠] [⁠ v ⁠]
dental Tongue sheet upper incisors [⁠ ⁠]
alveolar Tip of the tongue (apex linguae) Tooth dam (alveolus dentalis) [⁠ d ⁠]
postalveolar Tongue sheet hard palate (palatum durum) [⁠ ʃ ⁠] [⁠ ʒ ⁠]
retroflex Tip of tongue Hard palate [⁠ ɻ ⁠]
palatal Back of the tongue (dorsum linguae) Hard palate [⁠ ç ⁠]
velar Back of the tongue soft palate, soft palate (velum) [⁠ k ⁠] [⁠ ɡ ⁠]
uvular Back of the tongue Uvula (uvula) [⁠ ʀ ⁠]
pharyngal Tongue root (radix linguae) Throat wall (pharynx) [⁠ ħ ⁠]
glottal Vocal folds Glottis (glottis) [⁠ h ⁠]

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Wiktionary: Articulatory organ  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations