How to Teach Voiced and Unvoiced Consonants

What are consonant tones? - 2021 - news

What are consonant tones?

All letters of the alphabet can be divided into two basic categories: vowels and consonants. A vowel is a speech sound created by a relatively open configuration of the vocal tract, with the vocal cords vibrating but no audible friction. Consonant tones are the opposite of vowel tones. It is a speech noise in which breathing is at least partially obstructed.

All letters except the five vowels a, e, i, o and u are called consonants. A consonant letter in the alphabet usually represents a consonant sound. However, some consonants such as c, g, s can represent more than one consonant sound. For example, note the difference in pronunciation between in cat / kat / and in cease / siːs /.

There are 21 consonant letters in English and 24 consonants in most English accents. A consonant must be associated with a vowel to form a syllable. (A syllable is a unit of pronunciation, and all words consist of at least one syllable.)

Types of consonant sounds

Consonant sounds are created by blocking air as it moves through the mouth. There are different types of consonant tones. Consonants can be divided into two main groups: voiced and unvoiced consonants.

Voiced consonants:

Voiced consonants sound through the vibration of the vocal folds in the larynx. The easiest way to identify a voiced consonant is to put your finger on your neck. When you feel a vibration, the consonant is uttered. Examples of voiced consonants.

Consonants not billed:

No vibration occurs with unvoiced consonants. They make noise by the movement of air through parts of your mouth. ,, and are some examples of unvoiced consonants.

Explosive: The consonant arises when the air flow is interrupted at some point and suddenly released again. are voiceless plosives whereas, voiced are plosives.

Fricative: A consonant made when you push air through a small hole or gap in your mouth, ,, and are examples of friction.

nose : A consonant made through the nose when the mouth is closed. and are examples of nasal consonants in English.

Approximant: A consonant created by narrowing, but not blocking, the vocal tract by bringing two parts of the mouth closer together (example: tongue and roof of the mouth).

Below is an IPA consonant table. It contains all the subdivisions of consonant tones.

Consonant Sounds - Summary

  • A consonant sound is a basic speech sound created by obstructing breath in the vocal tract.
  • There are 21 consonant letters in English and 24 consonant sounds.
  • A consonant must be associated with a vowel to form a syllable.
  • Speech and voiceless consonants are the two main types of consonants.
  • In addition, depending on their pronunciation, consonants can be further broken down into plosives, fricatives, nasales, etc.

Image courtesy:

"IPA Chart 2005 Consonants". (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Wikimedia Commons