Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Consonants are speech sounds produced with a closure or near complete constriction of the vocal tract. All languages systematically exploit place of articulation to differentiate consonants. Eight other phonetically independent parameters are used to create consonant contrast: airstream, constriction degree, laryngeal setting, nasality, laterality, length, articulator stiffness, and respiratory strength. Aspiration, affrication, pre-stopping, secondary articulations, and other properties of ‘complex’ consonants are best described as patterns of coordination in the underlying gestures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Cambridge handbook of phonetics
EditorsRachael-Anne Knight, Jane Setter
Place of PublicationCambridge, UK
PublisherCambridge University Press (CUP)
Number of pages41
ISBN (Electronic)9781108495738
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Publication series

NameCambridge Handbooks in Language and Linguistics
PublisherCambridge University Press


  • consonant
  • phonetic parameters
  • constriction
  • place of articulation
  • contrast
  • airstream


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