What is the Manner of Articulation in Linguistics

Ahmad Zabir
3 min readAug 15, 2020
Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

In simple terms, manner of articulation is something we study in articulatory phonetics, as the interaction of articulators. Articulators are speech organs, like the tongue and lips, or the palate. Thus, when we make a sound, it is with the help of the movement of these articulators, and the manner in which they move, which is what we are discussing here.

Stops / Plosives sounds

A stop sound, or plosive sounds are a result of blocking of the oral vocal tract, and thus there is no nasal air flow involved, as the air stop completely. It can be classified in two categories; of voiced sounds and of voiceless sounds. If the consonant is voiced, then the sound made is during the occlusion or blockage. While if it is voiceless sound, then the stop is completely silent.

For example

/p t k/ are voiceless stops, while on the other hand, /b d g/ are voiced stops. When we study the stops we can go in more detail of stops, as of saying that /p/ is a bilabial voiceless stop while /d/ is a voiced alveolar stop.

Glottal Stops

A glottal stop is when there is a rapid closure of the glottis. We can say it is a consonant formed by an audible release of the airstream after complete closure of the glottis.

For example

In English, we can hear the variants of the /t/ sound as glottal stops. For example, in the words like metal, Latin, bought.


Fricatives, also sometimes called Spirant, is a manner of articulation where there is constant friction between certain parts and the sounds. In simple terms, the air flow gathers In the mouth but it does not block. Here an “almost blocking” happens, as the air flow is released through a very narrow opening, creating a noisy airflow having friction.

For example

/f/ and /s/ are voiceless fricatives. While /v/ and /z/ are voiced.

/h/ is usually included in fricatives


An affricate begins like a stop, but releases into a frictive rather than having an independent release of it’s own. Thus, there is some friction, but…

Ahmad Zabir

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