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Voiced pharyngeal fricative: Wikis


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IPA – number 145
IPA – text ʕ
IPA – image {{{imagesize}}}
Entity ʕ
Kirshenbaum H<vcd>
About this sound Sound sample

The voiced pharyngeal approximant/fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents it is ʕ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is ?\.

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 is known to have a distinct fricative and approximant at this place of articulation.



Features of the voiced pharyngeal approximant/fricative:


Pharyngeal consonants are not widespread. Many languages claiming to have pharyngeal fricatives or approximants turn out on closer inspection to have epiglottal consonants instead. For example, the candidate ʕ sound in Arabic and standard Hebrew (Israelis of eastern European background generally pronounce this as a glottal stop) has been variously described as a voiced epiglottal fricative, an epiglottal approximant, or a pharyngealized glottal stop.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Avar гIоркь [ʕortɬʼː] 'handle'
Chechen Iан/jan [ʕan] 'winter'
Hebrew עִבְרִית [ʕivˈɾit] 'Hebrew language' Sephardic pronunciation. See Hebrew phonology
Kabyle ɛemmi [ʕəmmi] 'my (paternal) uncle '
Kurdish ewr [ʕɑwr] 'cloud' Kurmanji dialect
Occitan southern Auvergnat pala [ˈpaʕa] 'shovel'
Somali caadi [ʕaːdi] 'normal'
Sioux Nakota  ? [maʕazud] 'rain'

Thelwall (1990) argues that Arabic descriptions of a voiced pharyngeal fricative are incorrect and that Arabic varieties instead possess a pharyngealized glottal stop ([ʔˤ]. An epiglottal fricative has also been reported.[1]

See also



  • Ladefoged, Peter & Ian Maddieson (1996), The Sounds of the World's Languages, Blackwell, ISBN 0-631-19815-6
  • Thelwall, Robin (1990), "Illustrations of the IPA: Arabic", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 20 (2): 37-41


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