Dorsal (phonetics)

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14. postero-dorsal (rear part of the tongue)
15. antero-dorsal (front part of the tongue)

In phonetics, dorsal refers to a sound whose organ of articulation is the back of the tongue (Latin: dorsum linguae ). Dorsal sounds generated in this way are also referred to in German as back tongue sounds .

With the back of the tongue, three different articulations can be reached. If it is brought closer to the hard palate , palatal consonants can be generated:

If it is brought closer to the soft palate (velum), velar consonants arise :

If the back of the tongue finally the uvula approximated (uvula) to be uvular consonants produced:


  1. a b The appearance and the distinction between [⁠ x ⁠] and [⁠ χ ⁠] in the German pronunciation is assessed differently by scientists. The distinction given here follows: Klaus Kohler: German. In: Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. Cambridge University Press, 1999.
  2. a b The different realizations of the phoneme / r / in German are free allophones , cf. Pronunciation of consonants in German