As the name would suggest, a place manner voice chart is a chart showing the place, manner, and voicing of each speech sound. This chart can be helpful in categorizing sounds in speech, and speech pathologists can use it to help analyze and plan treatment for speech sound disorders.
Place, Manner, and Voicing in Speech Sounds
Humans use complex coordination of airflow, vocal fold vibration, and movement of the articulators (lips, tongue, etc.) to make speech sounds. The 24 consonant speech sounds are organized into three areas to describe how each sound is produced. These include the place of articulation, the manner of articulation, and voice (or voicing).
- Place. The place of articulation is where a sound is made.
- Manner. The manner of articulation is how a sound is made.
- Voice/Voicing. Voice or voicing refers to the vibration of the vocal folds.
Place Manner Voice Chart
The following place manner voice chart is a handy visual guide for caregivers and SLPs alike. Caregivers and parents can refer to the chart for help understanding the different speech sounds and how to instruct their child to say the sound correctly.
A place manner voicing chart also helps speech pathologists determine error patterns, select goals, and track progress.
Click the image below to download the place manner voice chart PDF. You can further print or save this place manner voice chart as needed.
Place of Articulation
The place of articulation refers to WHERE a sound is produced in the mouth. Speech sounds are made by constricting airflow using the lips, teeth, tongue, hard palate, soft palate, and/or throat.
- Labial. A labial consonant involves one or both of the lips when making the sound. Labial sounds include bilabials and labiodentals.
- Coronal. Coronal consonants are made primarily with the front of the tongue. They include interdental, alveolar, post-alveolar, and palatal consonants.
- Dorsal. Dorsal sounds are produced by the back of the tongue contacting or restricting airflow to the soft palate or the throat. These sounds include velar and glottal sounds.
Let’s break down each place of articulation in English consonants further. When looking at the place manner voice chart at the bottom of , the sounds move from the front of the mouth on the left of the chart to the back of the mouth on the right.
A bilabial sound is made using both lips. English bilabial sounds include the following:
- P (phonetically transcribed as /p/). As in pay, open, and cup.
- B /b/. As in boy, robot, and tub.
- M /m/. As in me, lemon, and jam.
- W /w/. As in we, awake, and cow.
W is a unique sound that is considered both a labial and a velar because the sound is produced beginning with the lips and ending with the back of the tongue.
Labio-dental sounds are made by placing the upper teeth on top of the lower lip. English has two labio-dental sounds:
- F /f/. As in fee, sofa, and leaf.
- V /v/. As in vow, seven, and five.
Interdental sounds are made by placing the tongue between both the upper and lower teeth. English interdental sounds include:
- Voiceless TH /θ/. As in thigh, python, and math.
- Voiced TH /ð/. As in they, weather, and bathe.
An alveolar sound is made when the tip of the tongue touches or is just below the alveolar ridge. The alveolar ridge is the bumpy part of the roof of the mouth that is just behind the top teeth. Alveolar sounds include the following:
- T /t/. As in to, water, and hat.
- D /d/. As in do, radio, and sad.
- S /s/. As in say, messy, and yes
- Z /z/. As in zoo, lizard, and buzz.
- N /n/. As in no, pony, and pin.
- L /l/. As in lay, salad, and hill.
Post-alveolar sounds are made when the middle part of the tongue is touching or just behind the alveolar ridge. These include the following sounds:
- SH /ʃ/. As in shoe, washing, and fish.
- ZH /ʒ/. As in vision, measure, and garage.
- CH /tʃ/. As in chew, teacher, and peach.
- J /dʒ/. As in jaw, banjo, and cage.
- R /ɹ/. As in ray, zero, and far.
Palatal sounds are made when the tongue is close to or touching the middle part of the roof of the mouth (hard palate). There is only 1 palatal sound in English:
- Y /j/. As in yes, canyon, and royal.
A velar sound is made when you raise the tongue to the soft palate (the roof of the mouth just behind the hard palate). Velar sounds in English include the following:
- K /k/. As in kiss, baker, and book.
- G /g/. As in gum, wagon, and log.
- NG /ŋ/. As in hanger, and swing.
- W /w/. As in we, awake, and cow.
Glottal sounds are made in the vocal folds in your throat (AKA the glottis). Unlike all other sounds, the tongue does not help make this sound. English only has 1 glottal sound:
- H /h/. As in hay, behind, and forehead.
Manner of Articulation
The manner of articulation refers to HOW a sound is produced, meaning how the air is released from your mouth to make each speech sound. Sounds can be made in many different ways, from releasing a small puff of air out your lips, to allowing the air to flow over the tongue in a small channel.
Speech sounds can be made by either restricting the airflow out the mouth/nose or allowing little to no restriction. These are called obstruents and sonorants.
- Obsruents. An obstruent is a sound that is made by restricting airflow.
- Sonorants. A sonorant is a sound that is made without restricting airflow.
Stops are made by stopping the airflow and then releasing it with a burst. For example, you make P /p/ and B /b/ by closing both the top and bottom lips, then releasing the air out after building up pressure. English has 6 stops, including the following:
- P /p/
- B /b/
- T /t/
- D /d/
- K /k/
- G /g/
A fricative is produced by creating a narrow passageway for air to escape the mouth. The air creates a noisy sound as it blows through the mouth. An example of this is when you produce F /f/ and V /v/ by forcing air through the narrow space between the top teeth and bottom lip. English has 9 fricatives. They include the following sounds:
- F /f/
- V /v/
- Voiceless TH /θ/
- Voiced TH /ð/
- S /s/
- Z /z/
- SH /ʃ/
- ZH /ʒ/
- H /h/
An affricate is a combination of a stop and a fricative. We produce these sounds by narrowing the passage in the mouth for air to escape (like a stop) and then releasing it gradually through that narrowed passageway (like a fricative). English has 2 affricates:
Nasal sounds are not released through the mouth. As the name suggests, nasals are made when the mouth is blocked off, and the sound escapes through the nasal cavity (nose). The 3 nasal sounds in English include the following:
Liquid consonants are complex sounds that include both lateral and rhotic sounds. The tongue and palate create a partial restriction of the airflow out the mouth. This produces the vowel-like consonants L /l/ and R /r/.
- L /l/. The English lateral L /r/ is an alveolar lateral consonant. A lateral consonant blocks the airflow from moving down the middle of the mouth and redirects it to the sides of the tongue.
- R /r/. The English rhotic R /r/ is a postalveolar rhotic consonant. R is a complex consonant and the way someone says R varies greatly depending on where they live. Some people say Rs with a retroflexed tongue (tongue tip lifted up) while others produce it with a bunched tongue (back of the tongue bunched up towards the molars.
Lastly, a glide (AKA a semivowel or semiconsonant) is a consonant that has a vowel-like quality. The tongue restricts airflow through the mouth creating a space over the tongue for the air to flow before releasing out the mouth. You make the sound by “gliding” the lips or tongue from one shape into a vowel. English has 1 2 glides:
Voicing is when the vocal cords are vibrating. Some speech sounds are made when the vocal cords are “on” and vibrating, and some are made when they are “off” and not vibrating.
If you place your fingers over your throat while saying a Z sound you’ll feel your vocal cords vibrating. Z is a voiced sound since the vocal cords vibrate. Now place your fingers on your throat and say an S sound. You will not feel any buzzing indicating that S is a voiceless sound.
Many speech sounds come in pairs and are made in the same place and using the same manner. The only difference between these sounds is one is voiced and one is voiceless. P and B are examples of these “sister” sounds. P and B are both bilabial stops, but P is voiceless (no vibrating vocal folds), and B is voiced (vibrating vocal folds).
- Voiced. Voiced sounds mean the vocal folds are vibrating. Voiced sounds include B, D, G, V, voiced TH, Z, ZH, J, M, N, NG, L, R, W, and Y.
- Voiceless. Voiceless sounds mean the vocal folds are NOT vibrating. Voiceless sounds include P, T, K, F, TH, S, SH, H, and CH.
Quick note: The place manner voice chart on this page indicates voicing with a minus sign (-) for voiceless sounds, and a plus sign (+) for voiced sounds.
Interested in Learning More About Speech?
For more information on speech sounds and when they develop, check out our post about Speech Sound Development. You can also browse the blog to learn more about speech and speech pathology.
Bernthal, J. E., Bankson, N. W., & Flipsen, P. (2017). Articulation and phonological disorders: Speech sound disorders in children. Pearson.
Full IPA Chart. International Phonetic Association. (n.d.). Retrieved September 19, 2022, from https://www.internationalphoneticassociation.org/content/full-ipa-chart