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Articulate: Friction

I love fricatives.

Those sounds that make the air contort itself to evade a barrier. These can be created by the tongue hovering near teeth, teeth against lip, or a change in the shape of the cavity itself. I love the persistence in these sounds and I love how clarity in these sounds immediately clarifies diction.

Today I’d like you to notice the formation of /sh/, to enjoy the press of the upper teeth on the lower lip in /v/, and the cheekiness of the tongue protruding between the teeth for /th/ as in thanks.

This enjoyment of limitations in air flow allows for amplified awareness of freedom in air flow. This is the dance of language. Have a little fun with it.

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Gina Razón is the Founder and CEO at GROW Voice LLC, a full-service verbal communication studio in Boston’s Back Bay.  She has over two decades of experience as a teacher of voice and speech, is a communication and change facilitator, and is a voraciously curious voice user.  Gina has worked professionally as a classical singer for over a decade and more recently as a professional public speaker.  For more information on the studio or to book Gina visit

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