Articulation and Pronunciation

Articulation, which refers to “the action of producing a sound or word clearly, in speech or music” (Collins Conbuild Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary) is usually considered as synonym of pronunciation, which means “the way in which a language or a particular word or sound is pronounced” (Collins Conbuild Advanced Learner’s English Dictionary). In general, there is no obvious differences between “articulation” and “pronunciation” since both of them possess the sense of “voicing” in terms of definition. However, “articulation” tends to be employed more frequently compared with “pronunciation” in the area of phonetics.

Therefore, this essay is written to analyse two distinctions between “articulation” and “pronunciation” with regard to definition and different focuses in phonetics.

To begin with the definition, articulation means the employment of various speech mechanisms, such as lips, tongue, and teeth to produce a sound, while pronunciation refers to “the way in which the words of a language are made to sound when speaking” (Pamela, 2011). Since articulation is “the physical production of a particular speech sound” and is regarded as “the last step of sound production”, its prominence depends on how a single phoneme is made, which involves the movements of different vocal organs when it comes to completing the modification of a sound (boundless, 2014).

Apart from producing a sound, different articulators are equally engaged to function in recognisable patterns in terms of changing the sound, which in accordance with changing the “place of articulation” (Genetti, 2014). However, the usage of stress, rhythm, and tone alteration on different syllables is crucial for changing the sounds of words when it comes to pronunciation.

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Therefore, compared with pronunciation, the definition of which focuses more on prosodic dimension, the definition for articulation primarily concentra…

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Articulation and Pronunciation. (2019, Oct 09). Retrieved from

Articulation and Pronunciation
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