Consonant Definition

A consonant is the sound of the oral language that is produced by the closure or narrowing of the vocal tract by bringing the organs linked to the articulation closer or in contact, causing audible turbulence. In other words, a consonant is a type of letter of the alphabet.

The word consonant means “to sound together with” in Latin, and has to do with the idea that consonants do not themselves have a sound, but must always be accompanied by one or more vowels – the other class of letters – to have meaning. This happens more occasionally in the Spanish language, since in other languages ​​there are words that lack vowels.

The consonants of the Spanish language are: B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, Ñ, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Y and Z .

Each consonant is characterized by distinctive features that define it as such and that are typical of every language in the world. They are: the mode of articulation (the criterion is according to how the airstream is obstructed), the point of articulation (according to the place in the oral tract where the air obstruction occurs), the mode of phonation ( how the vocal cords vibrate), the VOT (or “voice onset time”, that is, the delay time of phonation), the air current mechanism, the length and the articulatory force.

In the pronunciation of consonants there are different types of articulation that can be: labial (bilabial, labio-velar, labio-alveolar or labiodental), coronal (linguolabial, interdental, dental, alveolar, apical, laminar, postalveolar, alveolar). palatal, retroflex), dorsal (palatal, labio-palatal, velar, uvular, uvular-epiglottal), radical (pharyngal, epiglotto-pharyngal, epiglottal), and glottal.

The combination of the consonants with the vowels results in each word in Spanish from the simplest to the most complex and, thus, the construction of sentences.