By Parviz Birjandi and Mohammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan
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Additional info for An Introduction to Phonetics
When you whisper, your glottis is wide open and, therefore, all the sounds produced are voiceless. However, when the glottis is closed, the vocal cords are set into vibration by the impact of the CHAPTER THREE 45 pulmonary air. When the vocal cords vibrate, voice sounds are produced. When they do not vibrate, voiceless sounds result. That is, if the vocal cords are very close together, the air will blow them apart as it forces its way through. This makes the cords vibrate, producing a voiced sound.
46 CHAPTER THREE Voicing is important in a language like English because the meaning of a sound often depends on whether that sound is voiced or not. For example, 'big' carries a very different meaning from 'pig'. English has many sounds that are paired up in this way. In fact, there are a number of cases in which the place and manner of articulation of phonemes are the same, but the meaning is dependant upon whether the sound is voiced or not. 8. FORTIS AND LENIS Fortis and Lenis are closely related to level of vibration.
The place of articulation can be any of these points: (a) the lips (labials and bilabials), (b) the teeth (dentals), (c) the lips and teeth (labio-dentals—here the tongue is not directly involved), (d) the alveolar ridge (that part of the gums behind the upper front teeth—alveolar articulations), (e) the hard palate (given its large size, one can distinguish between palato-alveolars, palatals and palato-velars), (f) the soft palate (or velum—velar articulations), (g) the uvula (uvulars), (h) the pharynx (pharyngeals), and (i) the glottis (glottals).
An Introduction to Phonetics by Parviz Birjandi and Mohammad Ali Salmani-Nodoushan