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Alveolar consonants are
articulated An articulated vehicle is a vehicle which has a permanent or semi-permanent pivot joint In animal anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their ...
with the tongue against or close to the superior
alveolar ridge A sagittal or side view image of a human head. The upper alveolar ridge is located between numbers 4 and 5. The alveolar ridge (; also known as the alveolar margin) is one of the two jaw ridges, extensions of the mandible or maxilla, either on the ...
, which is called that because it contains the
alveoli Alveolus (pl. alveoli, adj. alveolar) is a general anatomical term for a concave cavity or pit. Alveolus may refer to: In anatomy and zoology in general * Pulmonary alveolus, an air sac in the lungs ** Alveolar cell or pneumocyte ** Alveolar duct ...
(the sockets) of the upper teeth. Alveolar consonants may be articulated with the tip of the tongue (the
apical consonant An apical consonant is a phone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficiently th ...
s), as in English, or with the flat of the tongue just above the tip (the "blade" of the tongue; called
laminal consonant A laminal consonant is a phone A telephone is a telecommunications device that permits two or more users to conduct a conversation when they are too far apart to be heard directly. A telephone converts sound, typically and most efficient ...
s), as in French and Spanish. The
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest s ...
(IPA) does not have separate symbols for the alveolar consonants. Rather, the same symbol is used for all
coronal Coronal may refer to: * a nuptial crown * anything relating to a Corona (disambiguation), corona * Coronal plane, an anatomical term of location * The Commonly used terms of relationship and comparison in dentistry, coronal direction on a tooth * Co ...
places of articulation that are not palatalized like English
palato-alveolar In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical ...
''sh'', or
retroflex A retroflex, apico-domal, or cacuminal () consonant is a coronal consonant where the tongue has a flat, concave, or even curled shape, and is articulated between the alveolar ridge and the hard palate. They are sometimes referred to as cerebral c ...

retroflex
. To disambiguate, the ''bridge'' (, ''etc.'') may be used for a dental consonant, or the under-bar (, ''etc.'') may be used for the
postalveolars
postalveolars
. differs from dental in that the former is a
sibilant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical pr ...
and the latter is not. differs from postalveolar in being unpalatalized. The bare letters , etc. cannot be assumed to specifically represent alveolars. The language may not make such distinctions, such that two or more coronal
places of articulation In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...
are found allophonically, or the transcription may simply be too broad to distinguish dental from alveolar. If it is necessary to specify a consonant as alveolar, a diacritic from the
Extended IPA The extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, also extIPA symbols for disordered speech or simply extIPA , are a set of letters and diacritics devised by the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association to augment the In ...
may be used: , ''etc.'', though that could also mean extra-retracted. The letters are frequently called 'alveolar', and the language examples below are all alveolar sounds. (The Extended IPA diacritic was devised for
speech pathology Speech is human vocal communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entities or Organization, groups through the use of sufficiently mutua ...
and is frequently used to mean "alveolarized", as in the labioalveolar sounds , where the lower lip contacts the alveolar ridge.)


In IPA

Alveolar consonants are transcribed in the IPA as follows:


Lack of alveolars

The alveolar or dental consonants and are, along with , the most common consonants in human languages.Ian Maddieson and Sandra Ferrari Disner, 1984, ''Patterns of Sounds.'' Cambridge University Press Nonetheless, there are a few languages that lack them. A few languages on
Bougainville Island Bougainville Island ( Tok Pisin: ''Bogenvil'') is the main island of the Autonomous Region of Bougainville, which is part of Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG; , ; tpi, Papua Niugini; ho, Papua Niu Gini; tcs, Op Deudai), offic ...

Bougainville Island
and around
Puget Sound Puget Sound () is a of the , an inlet of the , and part of the . It is located along the northwestern coast of the of . It is a complex system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and two minor connections to the ope ...
, such as
Makah The Makah (; Klallam: ''màq̓áʔa'')Renker, Ann M., and Gunther, Erna (1990). "Makah". In "Northwest Coast", ed. Wayne Suttles. Vol. 7 of ''Handbook of North American Indians The ''Handbook of North American Indians'' is a series of edited s ...
, lack nasals and therefore , but have . Colloquial
Samoan Samoan may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to the Samoan Islands, an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean ** Something of, from, or related to Samoa, a country encompassing the western part of the Samoan Islands ** Something of, from, o ...
, however, lacks both and , but it has a
lateral alveolar approximant The voiced alveolar lateral approximant is a type of consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive so ...
. (Samoan words written with ''t'' and ''n'' are pronounced with and in colloquial speech.) In Standard
Hawaiian Hawaiian may refer to: * Hawaii state residents, regardless of ancestry * Native Hawaiians, the current term for the indigenous people of the Hawaiian Islands or their descendants * Hawaiian language Historic uses * things and people of the Kingdo ...
, is an allophone of , but and exist.


consonants

In labioalveolars, the lower lip contacts the alveolar ridge. Such sounds are typically the result of a severe overbite. In the
Extensions to the IPA The extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, also extIPA symbols for disordered speech or simply extIPA , are a set of letters and diacritics devised by the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association to augment the In ...
for disordered speech, they are transcribed with the alveolar diacritic on labial letters: .


See also

*
Index of phonetics articles A * Acoustic phonetics Acoustic phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians— ...
*
Perception of English /r/ and /l/ by Japanese speakers Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat = Imperia ...
*
Place of articulation In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...


Notes


References

* {{IPA navigation Place of articulation *