engage (a speech organ)

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daoxunchang

Senior Member
Chinese China
I'm reading about phonetics and have seen some sentences with "engage". I can roughly catch what engage means in these sentences but I cannot find a definite definition meeting my understanding in all of my dictionaries. Will you please explain it to me? Thanks a lot.
1. As the tongue engages the velum, rather than vice versa, the tongue may be referred to as the active articulator and the velum as the passive articulator.
2. ... an utterance consists of a sequence of discrete sounds. Rather than engage, disengage or change position sharply between segments, our articulators flow from one to another.
 
  • daoxunchang

    Senior Member
    Chinese China
    Then how can a velum "engages" the tongue? I'm articulating a number of sounds and always feeling it's my tongue being active. Can these too organs engage "vice versa"? Thank you.
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    Then how can a velum "engages" the tongue? I'm articulating a number of sounds and always feeling it's my tongue being active. Can these too organs engage "vice versa"? Thank you.
    Hi, daoxun.

    Now I know where your problem is--you misunderstand the meaning of "rather than vice versa." It means "instead of the other way round" or "it's not the other way round." That is to say, the velum doesn't touch the tongue actively.

    As the tongue engages the velum, rather than vice versa, the tongue may be referred to as the active articulator and the velum as the passive articulator.
     

    daoxunchang

    Senior Member
    Chinese China
    hehe, I see. I have took the "as" as an indicator of giving examples and thought what's stated by this sentence was one of many possibilities.:)
    Thanks a lot!:)
     

    quietdandelion

    Banned
    Formosa/Chinese
    You're welcome, daoxun.
    Phonetics is a difficult subject in Chinese, let alone in English. I had an unhappy experience when I had to rack my brain about it in college.
     
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