Names of consonants obtained by exploiting the coarticulatory and perceptual effects of consonants on vowels

 

bilabial

labio-

dental

dental

alveolar

palato-

alveolar

retroflex

alveolo-

palatal

palatal-ized

alveolar

palatal

velar

uvular

“em-phatic”

pha-

ryngeal

epi-

glottal

glottal

vl plosive

pó̜ː

 

t̪ɘ́ː

téː

 

ʈɝ́ː

 

tʲɪ́ː

cɪ́ː

kʌ́ː

qɒ́ː

t̴ɒ́ː

 

 

ʔɤ́ː

vd plosive

ŏ̜'bo̜ː

 

ɘ̆ˈd̪ɘː

ĕˈdeː

 

ɝ̆ˈɖɝː

 

ɪ̆ˈdʲɪː

ɪ̆ˈɟɪː

ʌ̆ˈɡʌː

ɒ̆ˈɢɒː

ɒ̆ˈd̴ɒː

 

ɐ̰̆ˈʡ̰ɐ̰ː

 

implosive

ɓˑo̜

 

 

ɗˑe

 

 

 

 

ʄˑɪ

ɠˑʌ

ʛˑɒ

 

 

 

 

nasal

õ̜mː

ɤ̃ɱː

ɘ̃n̪ː

ẽnː

 

ɝ̃ɳː

 

ɪ̃nʲː

ɪ̃ɲː

ʌ̃ŋː

ɒ̃ɴː

 

 

 

 

trill

o̜ʙː

 

 

ɛrː

 

 

 

 

 

 

ɒʀː

 

 

 

 

tap/flap

 

 

 

ɛ̞ːɾ

 

ɝ̞ːɽ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vl fricative

o̜ɸː

ɤfː

ɘθː

esː

øʃː

ɝʂː

iɕː

ɪsʲː

ɪçː

ʌxː

ɒχː

ɒs̴ː

a̰ħː

ɐ̰ʜː

ɤhː

vd fricative

ˈo̜ːβo̜

ˈɤːvɤ

ˈɘːðɘ

ˈeːze̪

ˈøːʒø

ˈɝːʐɝ

ˈiːʑi

ˈɪːzʲɪ

ˈɪːʝɪ

ˈʌːɣʌ

ˈɒːʁɒ

ˈɒːz̴ɒ

ˈã̰ːʕ̰ã̰

ˈɐ̰ːʢ̰ɐ̰

ˈɤːɦɤ

vl affricate

 

pfɤː

 

tse̪ː

tʃøː

ʈʂɝː

tɕi:

 

 

kxʌː

 

 

 

 

 

vd affricate

 

 

 

ĕˈdze̪ː

ø̆ˈdʒøː

ɝ̆ˈɖʐɝː

ĭˈdʑiː

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vd approximant

 

ʋʌ̞ː

 

ɹɛ̞ː

 

ɻɝ̞ː

 

 

jɛ̞ː

ɰʌ̞ː

 

 

 

 

 

vd rounded approximant

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ɥœ̞ː

wɔ̞ː

 

 

 

 

 

vd lateral

 

 

 

œlː

 

ɞ˞ɭː

 

ʏlʲː

ʏʎː

ɔʟː

 

ɒɫː

 

 

 

vl lateral fricative

 

 

 

œɬː

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

vd lateral fricative

 

 

 

ˈœːɮœ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

click

ʘɔ̜

 

ǀʌ

 

ǃʌ

 

ǂʌ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

lateral click

 

 

 

ǁɒ

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The names used in most languages for the letters of the Latin alphabet and for the sounds these represent are marked by a lack of distinctiveness that often makes them fail their purpose. Various auxiliary “spelling alphabets” are used in such cases. Phoneticians use descriptive expressions such as “a voiceless palato-alveolar fricative”, but shorter and more immediately intelligible names such as the equivalent [øʃː] (which can be distinguished from [ɪsʲː], [ɝʂː] and [ɵɧː]) would often be more convenient.

 

Vowels  that can form a syllable on their own can be said to name themselves, and they are distinctive enough if produced correctly. Non-peripheral vowels, which in many languages are not able to stand alone, can be terminated with a glottal stop.

 

Consonant names  can be obtained with a minimum of arbitrariness by exploiting the coarticulatory and perceptual effects of consonants on vowels, as shown in the table above. These names reflect the following rules:

 

1.      Pronounce each consonant with a schwa-like vowel with a basic quality between [ɤ] and [ə], but allow all coarticulatory and perceptual effects of the consonant on the vowel to be fully manifested. Exaggerate these effects for alveolars (also for palato-alveolars, but not for dentals) by fronting their vowels (hypercoarticulation).

2.      The basic syllable pattern is CV, but for nasals, trills (also flaps), laterals and voiceless fricatives, the chosen structure is VC, as in the corresponding Latin letter names. For voiced plosives and affricates, the structure is V̆ˈCVː, but for voiced fricatives it is ˈVːCV.

  1. Realize the non-place features of the consonants clearly.

 

In addition to the basic principles, described more fully in [1], two additional points have been considered here:

 

1.      Since voiced obstruents, except for implosives, tend to loose their voicing in initial as well as in final position, they have been provided with an initial as well as a final vowel. The vowel that precedes a voiced obstruent is always longer than the vowel (if any) that precedes its voiceless mate. This reflects a well-known coarticulatory effect.

  1. A more open vowel quality is chosen not only for alveolar r-sounds and retroflex consonants, but also for laterals, cf. [2].

 

References:

[1] Hartmut Traunmüller (1999) “Distinctive names for speech sounds and letters obtained with hyper-coarticulated vowels” Proceedings of the XIVth ICPhS: 1125 - 1128. pdf-version

[2] Per Lindblad and Sture Lundqvist (2003) “[l] tends to be velarized, apical as opposed to laminal, and produced with a low jaw, and these features are connected” Proceedings of the XVth ICPhS: 1899 - 1902.