Voices and aspirations
We have so far learned that there are five points of pronunciation.
- The soft palate. The soft palate is the fleshy region at the very back of the mouth.
- The hard palate. The hard palate is the bony region on the top of the mouth.
- The area behind the hard bump on the roof of the mouth. This bump sits behind the teeth.
- The base of the teeth.
- The lips.
Interestingly, we have four stops and nasals for each point of pronunciation, but only one consonant for them. Hence, there arises a need to produce three other consonants, but how?
In order to understand consonants, we have to segregate them into two categories; they are; voiced and unvoiced consonants. For example, the letter b is voiced whereas, letter p is unvoiced, just like the English words “pale” and “bail”
Apart from this, there is another factor that needs to be considered, that is whether the sound is aspirated or non-aspirated. The aspirated sounds are followed by a puff of air while speaking, for instance, “g” in “log” when heard carefully; you can sense an extra puff of air while speaking this word. Such aspirated sounds are present in English too.
So let us take a look at each of the sounds example;
The soft palate sounds:
|ka||k in “skill”|
|kha||k in “kill”|
|ga||g in “great”|
|na||ng in “lung”|
One thing you must’ve noticed here is that the first two sounds are unvoiced and the rest two are aspirated. The last one whereas is a nasal one.
Following table will you help you understand the concept more clearly;
The hard palate sounds
The retroflex sounds:
|ta||“th” in “thumb”|
|da||“th” in “the”|
|na||“n” in “now”|
|Pa||“p” in “spill”|
|pha||“p” in “pill”|
|ba||“b” in “bill”|
|ma||“m” in “mail”|