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Proper Pronunciation

Posted by: Huzaifa Bhai Ujjainwala

Proper Pronunciation requires that we know the various parts of the mouth, as to how to use them to pronounce the words in the way that they are easily understood and carries the proper meaning.

The aspect of pronunciation that involves bringing articulatory organs together so as to shape the sounds of speech is called the manner of articulation. Now there are two types of articulators. The Passive Articulators and The Active Articulators. The Passive Articulators are the Upper Lip and the Roof of the Mouth & The Active Articulators are the Tongue and Lower Lip.

(Note : Diagrams are given at the end of the document for reference)

Speech is produced by the vocal organs. Every language has a definite set of speech sounds, and every sound can be described with reference to the vocal organ that is used to produce it. In this way sounds occurring in different languages can be compared, and foreign language learners can be helped to overcome pronunciation problems that arise from differences between languages. Knowledge of how the vocal organs function to produce the various sounds of a language will make near-native sound production possible.

Speech is produced by air from the lungs being processed or modified by all speech organs above the lungs: the glottis, pharynx, nose, tongue, and lips. The individual sound is identified by the closure or narrowing of these organs. If we see the tongue as the active articulator, the place which does not move can be called the passive articulator. Labels refer to the place where the closure or narrowing occurs, which means that the name normally refers to the passive articulator.

The speech sounds often have their names from the Latin name of the vocal organ:

Nasal sounds: through nose (velum down)
Oral sounds: through mouth (velum up)
Stops full oral closure
Fricatives partial oral closure (friction)
Approximants narrowing (no friction)
Approximants from labium, lip(s) active
Dental from dentes, teeth active
Alveolar Alveoles, teeth ridge active
Palatal Palate, hard palate active
Velar Velum, soft palate active
Glottal Glottis, vocal cords active

The position of the vocal cords is classified into two parts:

  • Voiced – When the vocal cords are tightly held.
  • Unvoiced – When the vocal cords are loosely held.

Manners of Articulation:

Plosive:
When the active and passive articulators move away suddenly there is a gush of air that escapes thus producing a sound as ph, bh.

Affricates:
When the active and passive articulators are parted slowly, thus producing a sound ch, j.

Fricatives:
When active and passive are close and move slowly to bring out a slow gush of air as in s, z, v, f

Nasals:
A complete closure of the oral passage and the nasal passage is opened freely as in m, n.

Trills:
Closure of the articulators intermittently for nasals rolled consonants as in r. 

Place of Articulation:

Bilabial:
When both the lips are the articulators as in M, P, B

Labio Dental:
When the active articulator is the lower lip and the passive articulator is the upper of the front teeth as in F, W, and V.

Dental:
Tip of the tongue is the active articulator and the upper front of the teeth is the passive articulator as in S, Z and Th.

Alveolar:
The tip or the blade of the tongue is the active articulator and the alveolar ridge is the passive articulator as in Talk, Don.

Post Alveolar:
Tip or the blade of the tongue is the active articulator and the hard palate is the passive articulator as in R.

Palato Alveolar:
In this the tip or the blade of the tongue is the active articulator and the teeth ridge is the passive articulator and simultaneously front of the tongue is to be raised in the direction of the soft palate as in Shhh, J, Ch.

Velar:
Back of the tongue is the active articulator and the soft palate is the passive articulator as in kh, G.

Now in this case we can implement these ideas into enhancing our pronunciation where we face the problem the most as in the Arabic letters as in g I o c b   and many more and we can also differentiate between the various letters that common people would understand o be the same.

With the Doa Mubarak of Aqa Syedna Mohammed Burhanuddin Saheb (TUS) Inshallah we can and we will attain perfection in this part of our work field.

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