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I am unclear as to articulation point of seen, saad, and zay..

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I am unclear as to articulation point of seen, saad, and zay. I have read that it is from the internal plates of the front two top incisors. But what are the internal plates really? I mean is it the point where the tooth starts coming out of the gum? Because as I know the gum line i.e. the point where the gum meets the teeth is the point for ta, da and the thick ta. So how close is the articulation point for seen to that of taa. Please explain clearly as I am very confused. Whether I pronounce the seen from the edges or from the point I am assuming are the internal plates it sounds the same to me. I have seen the teeth diagram where you have pointed out the plates in reply to a question but I'm still unclear. Thank you.


Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

Let us start with the articulation point of the  letters, meaning the ,  and : These three letters are emitted from the tip of the tongue and the plates of the two front top incisors, at a point just above the two front lower incisors.  There is a little space left in between the tip of the tongue and the plates of the teeth when pronouncing these letters.  The term “plate” refers to the long axis of the tooth, and in this case, the long axis that is on the internal side, rather than the external side of the teeth. 

From the definition, we can see the part of the plates use, is the part just above the two front lower incisors.  We also furthered defined the plates in a question and stated:

The plates are the front and back part of the tooth that is visible, i.e., the front and back of the tooth itself that is sticking out of the gum. 

From the definition of the articulation point and the explanation of the plates, we then know that the plate of the tooth is the visible part of the tooth (referring to the long axis) and the part of the tooth used for the  letters is just above the lower front incisors, meaning right at the beginning of the plate (bottom of tooth, furthest part away from gum) close to the edge of the tooth.  The edges are not used, in fact, these letters do not put much pressure on the teeth at all.  The part of the plates used then is far from the gum line. 

It is very important that you recite to a trained and qualified teacher so that they can hear how you pronounce the letters and corrections of your articulation points can be made by them, if necessary.  Only then will you know if you are using the correct articulation point and that the sound of the letter is correct.

You are welcome. 

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