Pharyngealization is a secondary articulation of consonants or vowels by which the pharynx or epiglottis is constricted during the articulation of the sound.

In the International Phonetic Alphabet, pharyngealization can be indicated by one of two methods:

The swung dash or combining tilde diacritic (U+0334) was originally intended to combine with other letters to represent pharyngealization. However, precomposed letters are required for proper display in most IPA fonts. They are available only for labial consonants ⟨ᵱ ᵬ ᵮ ᵯ⟩ and coronal consonantsᵵ ᵭ ᵴ ᵶ ᵰ ᵲ ᵳ ɫ⟩.

The Unicode characters ⟨ˤ⟩ (U+02E4) and ⟨ˁ⟩ (U+02C1) look graphically similar. The IPA Handbook[1] lists U+02E4 (IPA Number 423) as the only unambiguous pharyngealization marker. The superimposed tilde (U+0334, IPA Number 428) denotes either velarization or pharyngealization, and the IPA Handbook does not mention U+02C1 at all.

Ubykh, an extinct Northwest Caucasian language spoken in Russia and Turkey, used pharyngealization in 14 pharyngealized consonants. Chilcotin has pharyngealized consonants that trigger pharyngealization of vowels. Many languages (such as Salishan, Sahaptian) in the Plateau culture area of North America also have pharyngealization processes that are triggered by pharyngeal or pharyngealized consonants, which affect vowels.

The Khoisan language Taa (or !Xóõ) has pharyngealized vowels that contrast phonemically with voiced, breathy and epiglottalized vowels.[2] That feature is represented in the orthography by a tilde under the respective pharyngealized vowel. In Tuu languages, epiglottalized vowels are phonemic.

For many languages, pharyngealization is generally associated with more dental articulations of coronal consonants. Dark l tends to be dental or denti-alveolar, but clear l tends to be retracted to an alveolar position.[3]

Arabic and Syriac use secondary uvularization, which is generally not distinguished from pharyngealization, for the "emphatic" coronal consonants.

This page was last edited on 17 July 2018, at 01:09 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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