Along the center of the opening 1 is called a lateral

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along the center of the opening,1is called alateralapproximantbecause air passesoutalongtheside/sof the articulation.his aglottal approximant.In somephonological systems approximants are treated assemi-consonants(1, r) orsemi-vowels(w,j)Thus, in accordance with the above-given grouping of sounds, the sounds of Eng-lish an be classified as follows:7. General Characteristics of ConsonantsThere are few ways of classifying English consonants. According to V.A.Vassilyevprimary importance should be given to the type of obstruction and the manner of produc-tion of noise. On this ground he distinguishes two large classes of consonants:
32occlusive, in the production of which a complete obstruction is formed;1.constrictive, in the production of which an incomplete obstruction is formed.2.The phonological relevance of this feature could be exemplified in the following op-positions:[ti]– [si]tea – sea(occlusive – constrictive)[si:d] – [si:z]seed – seas (occlusive – constrictive)[pul]– [ful]pull – full(occlusive —constrictive)[bəut] – [vəut]boat – vote (occlusive —constrictive)Each of the two classes is subdivided into noise consonants and sonorants. Thedivision is based on the factor of prevailing either noise or tone component in the auditorycharacteristic of a sound. In their turn noise consonants are divided into plosive conso-nants (or stops) and affricates.Another point of view is shared by M.A. Sokolova, K.P. Gintovt, G.S. Tikhonova,R.M. Tikhonova. They suggest that the first and basic principle of classification shouldbe the degree of noise. Such consideration leads to dividing English consonants into twogeneral kinds: noise consonants and sonorants.Sonorants are sounds that differ greatly from all other consonants of the language.This is largely due to the fact that in their production the air passage between the twoorgans of speech is fairly wide, that is much wider than in the production of noise con-sonants. As a result, the auditory effect is tone, not noise. This peculiarity of articulationmakes sonorants sound more like vowels than consonants. On this ground some of theBritish phoneticians refer some of these consonants to the class of semivowels, [r], [j], [w],for example. Acoustically sonorants are opposed to all other consonants because they arecharacterized by sharply defined formant structure and the total energy of most of themis very high. However, on functional grounds, according to their position in the syllable,[r], [j], [w] are included in the consonantal category, but from the point of view of theirphonetic description they are more perfectly treated as vowel glides.The place of articulation is another characteristic of English consonants whichshould be considered from the phonological point of view. The place of articulation isdetermined by the active organ of speech against the point of articulation. According tothis principle the English consonants are classed into: labial, lingual, glottal. The class of

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