Approximant Consonant Sounds (38-41)
Approximants are smooth vowel-like sounds that are made without fully blocking air as it leaves the body.
English pronunciation has 4 approximant sounds:
The first three approximants only appear before a vowel sound in British English:
/w,r,j/ are made without the tongue making contact in the mouth. The following approximant does involve contact, with the sound released down the sides of the tongue:
/l/ is normally pronounced with the tongue raised at the back when it appears at the end of a word. This is known as ‘Dark l’, the symbol for this sound is [ɫ] but you won’t see this symbol in dictionaries, /l/ will be used. At Pronunciation Studio, ‘dark l’ is sound number 46.
Now we have finished the approximants, let’s move onto ‘Approximant Activities’: