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American English Consonant Allophones

January 12th, 2021 by

Voiced and Unvoiced Consonants

January 12th, 2021 by

Consonants may be voiced or unvoiced. When a consonant is voiced, your vocal cords are engaged while you are altering the airflow; if it is unvoiced, your voice is not engaged.

When you look at the chart, you will see that there are often voiced/unvoiced pairs at different points of articulation.  Three pairs in English that help give an idea are [s] and [z], [t] and [d], and [f] and [v].  Each of the pairs have the same place and manner of articulation, but in each pair, the first sound is voiceless and the second is voiced. The voicing changes the meaning as in the following pairs of words. They are spelled differently, but the pairs sound the same.

 Unvoiced Voiced 
1.Sue[sʊ]zoo[zʊ]
2.sit[sɪt]zit[zɪt]
3.Ted[tʰɛd]dead[dʰɛd]
4.tied[tʰɑɪd]died[dʰɑɪd]
5.fat[fæt]vat[væt]
6.feel[fijl]veal[vijl]

General American English Consonant Allophones

May 5th, 2020 by
PhonemeAllophoneBeginning of WordMiddle of WordEnd of Word
/p/[p]"plan"
[ˈplæn] /ˈplæn/
"spin"
[ˈspIn] /ˈspIn/
"soup"
[ˈsup] /ˈsup/
/p/[pʰ]"pin"
[ˈpʰIn] /ˈpIn/
"import"
[Imˈpʰɔrt] /Imˈpɔrt/
-
/b/[b]"be"
[ˈbi] /ˈbi/
"robot"
[ˈɹoʊbɑt] /ɹoʊbɑt/
"job"
[ˈdʒɑb] /ˈdʒɑb/
/t/[t]"two"
[ˈtʰu] /ˈtu/
"attack"
[əˈtʰæk] /əˈtæk/
-
/t/ or /d/[ɾ]-

"water" "ladder"
[ˈwɔɾɚ] [læɾɚ] /ˈwɔtɚ/ /lædɚ/
-
/t/[ʔ]-"mountain"
[‘maʊnʔn̩] /ˈmaʊntn̩/
-
/d/[d]"day"
[ˈdeɪ]'
/ˈdeɪ/
"words"
[ˈwɝdz] /ˈwɝdz/
"need"
[ˈnid] /ˈnid/
/k/[k]"quite"
[ˈkwaɪt] /ˈkwaɪt/
"next"
[ˈnɛkst] /ˈnɛkst/
"like"
[ˈlaɪk] /ˈlaɪk/
/k/[kʰ]"come"
[ˈkʰʌm] /ˈkʌm/
account

[əˈkʰaʊnt]
/əˈkaʊnt/
-
/g/[g]"go"
[ˈɡoʊ] /ˈɡoʊ/
"together"
[təˈɡɛðɚ] /təˈɡɛðɚ/
"big"
[ˈbɪɡ] /ˈbɪɡ/
/m/[m]"met"
[mɛt] /mɛt/
"women"
[ˈwɪmən] /ˈwɪmən/
"beam"
[bim] /bim/
/m̩/[m̩]-"smile"
[ˈsm̩aɪəɫ] /ˈsmaɪəɫ/
-
/n/[n]"no"
[ˈnoʊ] /ˈnoʊ/
"another"
[əˈnʌðɚ] /əˈnʌðɚ/
"then"
[ˈðɛn] /ˈðɛn/
/n̩/[n̩]-"student"
[ˈstudn̩t] /ˈstudn̩t/
"person"
[ˈpʰɝsn̩] /ˈpɝsn̩/
/ŋ/[ŋ]-"think"
[ˈθɪŋk] /ˈθɪŋk/
"thing"
[ˈθɪŋ] /ˈθɪŋ/
/f/[f]"few"
[ˈfju] /ˈfju/
"often"
[ˈɔfən] /ˈɔfən/
"life"
[ˈlaɪf] /ˈlaɪf/
/v/[v]"voice"
[ˈvɔɪs] /ˈvɔɪs/
"ever"
[ˈɛvɚ] /ˈɛvɚ/
"give"
[ˈɡɪv] /ˈɡɪv/
/θ/[θ]"three"
[ˈθɹi] /ˈθɹi/
"nothing"
[ˈnʌθɪŋ] /ˈnʌθɪŋ/
"death"
[ˈdɛθ] /ˈdɛθ/
/ð/[ð]"there"
[ˈðɛr] /ˈðɛr/
"other"
[ˈʌðɚ] /ˈʌðɚ/
"smooth"
[ˈsmuð] /ˈsmuð/
/s/[s]"say"
[ˈseɪ] /ˈseɪ/
"also"
[ˈɔɫˌsoʊ] /ˈɔlˌsoʊ/
"yes"
[ˈjɛs] /ˈjɛs/
/z/[z]"zone"
[ˈzoʊn] /ˈzoʊn/
"music"
[ˈmjuzɪk] /ˈmjuzɪk/
"buzz"
[ˈbʌz] /ˈbʌz/
/ʃ/[ʃ]"she"
[ˈʃi] /ˈʃi/
"social"
[ˈsoʊʃəɫ] /ˈsoʊʃəl/
"fish"
[ˈfɪʃ] /ˈfɪʃ/
/ʒ/[ʒ]"genre"
[ˈʒɑnɹə] /ˈʒɑnɹə/
"decision"
[dɪˈsɪʒən] /dɪˈsɪʒən/
"garage"
[ɡɚˈɹɑʒ] /ɡɚˈɹɑʒ/
/h/[h]"head"
[ˈhɛd] /ˈhɛd/
"perhaps"
[pɚˈhæps] /pɚˈhæps/
-
/tʃ/[tʃ]"check"
[ˈtʃɛk] /ˈˈtʃɛk/
"teacher"
[ˈtʰitʃɚ] /ˈtitʃɚ/
"age"
[ˈeɪdʒ] /ˈeɪdʒ/
/j/[j]"yet"
[ˈjɛt] /ˈjɛt/
"million"
[ˈmɪɫjən] /ˈmɪljən/
-
/w/[w]"when"
[ˈwɛn] /ˈwɛn/
"away"
[əˈweɪ] /əˈweɪ/
-
/ɹ/[ɹ]"right"
[ˈɹaɪt] /ˈɹaɪt/
"through"
[ˈθɹu] /ˈθɹu/
-
/l/[l]"last"
[ˈlæst] /ˈlæst/
"believe"
[bəˈliv] /bəˈliv/
-
/l/[ɫ]-"old"
"[ˈoʊɫd] /ˈoʊld/
"well"
[ˈwɛɫ] /ˈwɛl/
/l̩/[ɫ̩]-"models"
[ˈmɑɾɫ̩z] /ˈmɑdl̩z/
"little"
[ˈlɪɾɫ̩] /ˈlɪtl̩/