Consonant  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are Template:IPA, pronounced with the lips; Template:IPA, pronounced with the front of the tongue; Template:IPA, pronounced with the back of the tongue; Template:IPA, pronounced in the throat; Template:IPA and Template:IPA, pronounced by forcing air through a narrow channel (fricatives); and Template:IPA and Template:IPA, which have air flowing through the nose (nasals). Contrasting with consonants are vowels.

Since the number of possible sounds in all of the world's languages is much greater than the number of letters in any one alphabet, linguists have devised systems such as the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to assign a unique and unambiguous symbol to each attested consonant. In fact, the Latin alphabet, which is used to write English, has fewer consonant letters than English has consonant sounds, so digraphs like "ch", "sh", "th", and "zh" are used to extend the alphabet, and some letters and digraphs represent more than one consonant. For example, the sound spelled "th" in "this" is a different consonant than the "th" sound in "thin". (In the IPA they are transcribed Template:IPA and Template:IPA, respectively.)



Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Consonant" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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