American English Phonetics

Another American English Faculty Project

For a nasal consonant the oral cavity is completely blocked at some point, as for a stop. However, nasals differ in that the soft palate is lowered during the oral closure so that the air can escape freely through the nasal cavity. Stops, on the other hand, are articulated with the soft palate in its raised position, i.e. with a velic as well as an oral closure, so that the air cannot escape but is temporarily trapped in the oral cavity. Nasals are normally fully voiced.