Unit 3.1

Letters: T-D, S-Z

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Introduction

The letters t and d, and s and z represent alveolar consonants. The former are plosives and the latter are fricatives, both respectively voiceless and voiced.

Form

The sounds of these letters are:

Uppercase Lowercase Phonetics
T t /t/
D d /d/
S s /s/
Z z /z/

Example

t: table, teacher, trainers;
d: digital, dog, drive;
s: casual, spring, student;
z: size, zebra, zero.

Use

T and d or s and z are  alveolar sounds, to pronounce them you need to touch the alveolar ridge (the back part of what holds your  teeth) with your mouth, creating a block or a small opening with the teeth.

The sound of t and d is produced when the tongue touches the upper teeth, creating then a gap by which air passes. These are called plosives, as the block obstruct slightly the passing of airflow.

  • t is voiceless so the vocal cords do not vibrate during the articulation of the consonant;
  • d is voiced so the vocal cords vibrate in the articulation of the consonant.

The sound of s and z is produced when the tongue touches the lower teeth, also creating a gap by which air passes. These are called fricatives because the mouth is almost closed, but not completely, so the air can still flow.

  • s is voiceless, so the vocal cords do not vibrate during the articulation of the consonant;
  • z is voiced, so the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation of the consonant.

 

Exercises

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