From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Palatals are consonants articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). English [j] (spelt y) is a palatal approximant, and German [ç] (spelt ch after front vowels, as in nicht) or Spanish [jj] (spelt y before vowels, as in ayuda) are palatal fricatives. Consonants with other primary articulations may be palatalised, that is, accompanied by the raising of the tongue surface towards the hard palate. For example, English [S] (spelt sh) has such a palatal component, although its primary articulation involves the tip of the tongue and the upper gum (this type of articulation is called palatoalveolar).