In phonetics and linguistics, a consonant is a speech sound produced by restricting or blocking the flow of air as it is expelled from the lungs, with the resulting sound typically characterized by a constriction or closure of the vocal tract. Consonants are distinguished from vowels, which are produced by allowing air to flow freely through the vocal tract without obstruction.
Consonants are classified according to the manner and place of articulation. The manner of articulation refers to how the airflow is obstructed or modified, while the place of articulation refers to where the obstruction or modification occurs in the vocal tract. Some common manners of articulation include plosives (produced by a complete closure of the vocal tract and a sudden release of air, such as /p/ and /t/), fricatives (produced by a narrowing of the vocal tract to create turbulent airflow, such as /f/ and /s/), and nasals (produced by a lowering of the velum to allow air to flow through the nose, such as /m/ and /n/).
Consonants play a crucial role in the sound systems of languages, School Management System, providing the framework for the construction of words and sentences. They can also convey important information about the meaning of words and can distinguish between different sounds and meanings. Overall, the study of consonants is essential for understanding the sound systems of languages and the ways in which they are used to convey meaning.