Place of articulation

The place of articulation ( the place of articulation ) referred to in the phonetics those relatively immobile sites in the oral cavity, representing the movement target in the articulation of speech sounds for the relatively movable articulators (tongue, lower lip, glottis ). The articulation is also passive, called the articulation organ active articulator.


Sounds caused by the formation of a narrowing or partial or total occlusions between articulation and articulation organ. In its broadest sense, refers to the position at which the constriction is narrowest, also as articulation.

By specifying the manner of articulation, the articulation, the articulator and the presence and absence of voice consonants can be fairly adequately described:

Sounds with the same place of articulation, such as [ p] and [m ] is called homorganisch or homorgan.


The Places of articulation

Sounds can be distinguished by articulation places:

  • A labial ( exolabial, Endo ) is formed on the upper lip. A bilabial with both lips. Examples: [b ] and [p] in English.
  • Examples: [f ] and [ v] in German, the th sounds in English.
  • Examples: [t ], [ d], [s ], [ z], but also [ l] in English.
  • Example: [ ʃ ] in German ( the voiceless sch- sound).
  • These are usually retroflex sounds, such as those occurring in Hindi.
  • Examples: the [j ] or [ ç ] (which is the ch -sound after front vowels ) in German
  • Examples: the [k ], [ g ], [ ŋ ] (the ng - sound) or [ x] (which is the ch -sound for non- front vowels ) in German
  • Example: the uvular r ( [ ʀ ] ) in standard German.
  • Examples: [ ʕ ] and [ ħ ], which occur in Arabic
  • Examples: [ ʢ ] and [ ʡ ]
  • Examples: [h ] and [ ʔ ] ( glottal voiceless plosive, also glottal stop, which is spoken in German before initial sound stressed vowels ).


In many languages, sounds exist that simultaneously form closures at several locations. An example would be the English [ w], as for example in water word [ ː tə wɔ ( ɹ ) ] occurs. In this volume both a narrowing between the lips (labial ) and the velum ( velar ) is formed. The sound is made ​​according to the labio - velar.