Monday, January 3, 2011

Practicing the "TH" Consonant

"The Empire of Lights" Rene Magritte, 1967




The two TH consonant sounds. These sounds are paired together because they take the same mouth position. The unvoiced TH, as in thin, is made by only letting air pass through your mouth. The voiced TH, th as in this, is made by, th, making sound with your vocal cords. Th and th. They are made by letting the tip of the tongue come through the teeth. Everything else stays very relaxed: the lips are relaxed, the jaw is relaxed, the tongue is also relaxed, though it does come forward. Here we see the TH sound on the right compared with the mouth at rest on the left. And with parts of the mouth drawn in. The soft palate is raised for this sound. You can see the tongue through the teeth, just the tip comes through. The TH consonant sounds.

Sample words: thin/this, thief/these, birthday/worthy. Sample sentence: I thought of using these Lily of the Valleys rather than those thorny roses. Now you will see this sentence up close and in slow motion, both straight on and from an angle, so you can really study how the lips and tongue moves when making this sound.


I, with the 'ai' as in 'buy' diphthong. Thought, tongue tip through the teeth, TH. 'Aw' as in 'law', tongue up to make the T which is a D here, thought of. Using, the 'ew' as in 'few' diphthong. These, tongue tip through theteeth . Lily of the Valleys, tongue up in the L position, comes down, 'ih' as in 'sit', back up for the second L, lily, of, bottom lip up for the V sound, and again for the V sound of Valleys. Tongue up for the L, that was an L, not a TH. Rather, lips take the R consonant shape, and the tongue comes through the teeth again for the TH, one more time quickly for than. Those, 'oh' as in 'no' diphthong, and again for thorny, thorny roses, R consonant shape, 'oh' as in 'no' diphthong. Teeth together for the Z sound, then part slightly for the schwa, and then together again for the final Z sound.


And now from an angle. I thought, tongue tip through the teeth, tongue up to make the D sound, bottom lip up for the V. Using, with the 'ew' as in 'few' diphthong. These, tongue tip through theteeth. Teeth together for the Z sound and tongue up to make the L. Lily, up again for the second L. Lily of, bottom lip up for the V. And you don't even seen the tongue for the TH there because it's so quick. Of the Valley, Valleys. Rather,mouth takes the R consonant shape and the tongue tip comes through for the TH. Rather. Tongue tip comes through quickly to make than and those, than is very short there. 'Oh' as in 'no',teeth together for the Z sound. Thorny, tongue through the teeth for the TH, tongue up to make the N, roses. R consonant shape, teeth together for the Z sound, part for the schwa, and together again for the Z sound.


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