Tongue blade

The tongue blade is the part of the top of the tongue right behind the tongue tip. The following characterization by Ladefoged and Maddieson (1996) will be good enough for our purposes: "When the tongue is at rest in a closed mouth, the tongue blade is the part of the tongue that lies directly under the alveolar ridge."

(Unlike, for example, the boundary between the hard palate and the soft palate, there are no landmarks in the tongue that will let you say "this is part of the blade" and "this isn't part". In fact, the whole idea of the tongue blade is sort of artificial. But there's clearly a region of the front of the tongue that does interesting things during speech, so it's useful for phoneticians to have a term for that region.)

Sounds which are made with the tongue blade are called laminal sounds.


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