Articulation configuration modifies an airstream to produce the sounds of speech. The main articulators are the tongue, the upper lip, the lower lip, the upper teeth, the upper gum ridge (alveolar ridge), the hard palate, the velum (soft palate), the pharyngeal wall, and the glottis (space between the vocal cords).
Primary articulation refers to either the place and manner in which the structure is made for a consonant or the tongue contour, lip shape, and height of the larynx used to produce a vowel. Among the secondary articulations are palatalization, (the front of the tongue approaching the hard palate); velarization (the back of the tongue approaching the soft palate, or velum); labialization (added lip-rounding), glottalization (complete or partial closure of the vocal cords); and nasalization (simultaneous passage of air through the nose).
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