Voiced pharyngeal fricative

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Voiced pharyngeal fricative
ʕ
ʕ̝
IPA number 145
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ʕ
Unicode (hex) U+0295
X-SAMPA ?\
Kirshenbaum H<vcd>
Braille ⠖ (braille pattern dots-235) ⠆ (braille pattern dots-23)
Sound
Voiced pharyngeal approximant
ʕ̞
ɑ̯

The voiced pharyngeal approximant or fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is [ʕ], and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is ?\. Epiglottals and epiglotto-pharyngeals are often mistakenly taken to be pharyngeal.

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 make a phonemic distinction between fricatives and approximants at this place of articulation. The approximant is sometimes specified as [ʕ̞] or as [ɑ̯].

Features[edit]

Features of the voiced pharyngeal approximant fricative:

  • Its manner of articulation varies between approximant and fricative, which means it is produced by narrowing the vocal tract at the place of articulation, but generally not enough to produce much turbulence in the airstream. Languages do not distinguish voiced fricatives from approximants produced in the throat.
  • Its place of articulation is pharyngeal, which means it is articulated with the tongue root against the back of the throat (the pharynx).
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. However, in some languages, such as Swiss German, it can just mean that this consonant is pronounced shorter and weaker than its voiceless counterpart, while its voicedness or lack thereof is not relevant. In such cases it's more accurate to call such sounds lenis or lax.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.

Occurrence[edit]

Pharyngeal consonants are not widespread. Sometimes, a pharyngeal approximant develops from a uvular approximant, as with the rhotic of Danish when it precedes [ɑ].[citation needed] Many languages that have been described as having 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 (not modern 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,[1] or a pharyngealized glottal stop.[2]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abaza гӀапынхъамыз [ʕaːpənqaːməz] 'March'
Arabic Egyptian عمود [ʕæˈmuːd] 'column' See Egyptian Arabic phonology
Avar гӀоркь [ʕortɬʼː] 'handle'
Berber Kabyle ɛemmi [ʕəmːi] 'my (paternal) uncle' Written as <â> in most other Berber languages.[3]
Chechen Ӏан / jan About this sound [ʕan]  'winter'
Danish[4] ravn [ʕ̞ɑʊ̯ˀn] 'raven' An approximant,[4] the realization fo /ʁ/ according to Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:323). See Danish phonology
Dutch Limburg[5] rad [ʕ̞ɑt] 'wheel' An approximant.[5] Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology
Hebrew Iraqi עברית [ʕibˈriːθ] 'Hebrew language' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Sephardi About this sound [ʕivˈɾit] 
Yemenite About this sound [ʕivˈriːθ] 
Kurdish ewr [ʕɑwr] 'cloud' Both Sorani and Kurmanji dialects have this sound.
Marshallese enana [ɛ̯ɛnæ͡ɑʕnæ͡ɑʕ] 'it is bad' See Marshallese phonology
Occitan southern Auvergnat pala [ˈpaʕa] 'shovel' See Occitan phonology
Portuguese Fluminense armando [ɐʕˈmɜ̃du] 'arming', 'setting', 'framing' In free variation with [ɣ], [ʁ] and [ɦ], before voiced consonants. Does not occur in onset position. See Portuguese phonology
Somali caadi About this sound [ʕaːdi]  'normal' See Somali phonology
Sioux Stoney marazhud [maʕazud] 'rain'
Syriac Turoyo ܐܰܪܥܳܐ [arʕo] 'earth (planet)' ʕ is often not pronounced in Eastern Syriac varieties.
Ukrainian[6] гора [ʕoˈrɑ] 'mountain' May be transcribed /ɦ/. See Ukrainian phonology

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:167–168)
  2. ^ Thelwall (1990)
  3. ^ Bonafont (2006:9)
  4. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:323)
  5. ^ a b Collins & Mees (2003:201) Note that authors do not specify the area where this sound is used and whether it is confined to Dutch or Belgian Limburg, or it is used in both areas..
  6. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995:12)

Bibliography[edit]