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The alveolar ridge (/
The [upper] alveolar ridge is a small protuberance just behind the upper front teeth that can easily be felt with the tongue.
Consonants whose constriction is made with the tongue tip or blade touching or reaching for the alveolar ridge are called alveolar consonants. Examples of alveolar consonants in English are, for instance, [t], [d], [s], [z], [n], [l] like in the words tight, dawn, silly, zoo, nasty and lurid. There are exceptions to this however, such as speakers of the New York accent who pronounce [t] and [d] at the back of their top teeth (dental stops). When pronouncing these sounds the tongue touches ([t], [d], [n]), or nearly touches ([s], [z]) the upper alveolar ridge, which can also be referred to as gum ridge. In many other languages, consonants transcribed with these letters are articulated slightly differently, and are often described as dental consonants. In many languages consonants are articulated with the tongue touching or close to the upper alveolar ridge. The former are called alveolar plosives (such as [t] and [d]), and the latter alveolar fricatives (such as [s] and [ʃ]).
- Roach, Peter: English Phonetics and Phonology. Cambridge University Press, 2004.
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