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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Places of
articulation

 • Labial
Bilabial
Labial-velar
Labial-alveolar
Labiodental
Dentolabial

 • Bidental

 • Coronal
Linguolabial
Interdental
Dental
Denti-alveolar
Alveolar
Apical
Laminal
Subapical
Postalveolar
Alveolo-palatal
Retroflex

 • Dorsal
Palatal
Labial-palatal
Velar
Uvular
Uvular-epiglottal

 • Radical
Pharyngeal
Epiglotto-pharyngeal
Epiglottal

 • Glottal

This page contains phonetic information in IPA, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]

A pharyngeal consonant is a type of consonant which is articulated with the root of the tongue against the pharynx.

Pharyngeal consonants in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA):

IPA Description Example (Mishnaic Hebrew)
Orthography IPA Meaning
Xsampa-qmarkslash.png pharyngeal approximant עין [ˈʕaː.jin̪] the letter ʿáyin
Xsampa-Xslash.png voiceless pharyngeal fricative חית [ħeːθ] the letter ḥêṯ
  • Pharyngeal plosives are thought to be impossible. Note that when they are posited, they are sometimes transcribed with a small capital Q, [Q].
  • Although traditionally placed in the fricative row of the IPA chart, [ʕ] is usually an approximant. The IPA symbol itself is ambiguous, but no language has a distinct fricative and approximant at this place of articulation. Sometimes the lowering diacritic is used to specify that the manner is approximant: [ʕ̞].

Pharyngeals are known primarily from two areas of the world: in North-Africa/Mideast (in the Semitic, Berber, Cushitic, Northwest Caucasian, and Northeast Caucasian language families) and in British Columbia (in the Salishan language family). There are scattered reports of pharyngeals elsewhere, such as in the Nilo-Saharan Tama language. In Finnish, a weak pharyngeal fricative is the realization of /h/ next to the vowel /ɑ/, but since this is mere allophony, it is transcribed as /h/. According to the laryngeal theory, the Proto-Indo-European language might also have contained pharyngeal consonants.

Note that reported pharyngeals frequently turn out to be epiglottals. Such was the case for Dahalo and northern Haida, for example, and is likely to be true for many if not most of the others. This is perhaps because 'epiglottal' was only recently recognized as a distinct place of articulation, rather than a variant of 'pharyngeal'. Contrastive pharyngeals and epiglottals are known only from the Richa dialect of Aghul, a Lezgian language of Daghestan[1]: ħaw "udder" vs. ʜaʧ "apple", ʕan "belly" vs. ʢakʷ "light".

Recently, a possible new place of articulation, epiglotto-pharyngeal, was reported.

See also

References

  1. ^ Kodzasov, S. V. Pharyngeal Features in the Daghestan Languages. Proceedings of the Eleventh International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (Tallinn, Estonia, Aug 1-7 1987), pp. 142-144.
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