In the International Phonetic Alphabet, pharyngealization can be indicated by one of two methods:
- A tilde or swung dash through the letter indicates velarization, uvularization or pharyngealization, as in [z̴], the pharyngealized equivalent of [z]), or
- The symbol ⟨ˤ⟩ (a superscript voiced pharyngeal approximant (reversed glottal stop)) after the letter standing for the pharyngealized consonant, as in [tˤ] (the pharyngealized equivalent of [t]).
Ubykh, a Northwest Caucasian language formerly spoken in Russia and Turkey, uses pharyngealization in 14 pharyngealized consonants. Chilcotin has pharyngealized consonants that trigger pharyngealization of vowels. Many languages (e.g. Salishan, Sahaptian) in the Plateau culture area of North America also have pharyngealization processes triggered by pharyngeal or pharyngealized consonants that affect vowels.
The Khoisan language Taa (or !Xóõ) has pharyngealized vowels that contrast phonemically with voiced, breathy, and epiglottalized vowels. This feature of !Xóõ is represented in its orthography by a tilde beneath the respective pharyngealized vowel. In Danish many of the vowel phonemes have distinct pharyngealized qualities, and in the Tuu languages epiglottalized vowels are phonemic.
For many languages, pharyngealization is generally associated with more dental articulations of coronal consonants so that dark l tends to be dental or dentoalveolar while clear l tends to be retracted to an alveolar position.
Examples of pharyngealized consonants
(Uvularized consonants are not distinguished.)
- pharyngealized voiceless alveolar stop [tˤ] (in Arabic, Mizrahi Hebrew)
- pharyngealized voiced alveolar stop [dˤ] (in Arabic)
- pharyngealized voiceless bilabial stop [pˁ] (in Ubykh)
- pharyngealized voiced bilabial stop [bˁ] (in Ubykh)
- pharyngealized voiceless uvular stop [qˁ] (in Ubykh, Tsakhur)
- pharyngealized voiced uvular stop [ɢˁ] (in Tsakhur)
- pharyngealized voiceless alveolar sibilant [sˤ] (in Arabic, Mizrahi Hebrew)
- pharyngealized voiced alveolar sibilant [zˤ] (in Arabic)
- pharyngealized voiceless dental fricative [θˤ]
- pharyngealized voiced dental fricative [ðˤ] (in Arabic)
- pharyngealized voiceless labiodental fricative [fˁ]
- pharyngealized voiced labiodental fricative [vˁ] (in Ubykh)
- pharyngealized voiceless uvular fricative [χˁ] (in Ubykh, Tsakhur)
- pharyngealized voiced uvular fricative [ʁˁ] (in Ubykh, Tsakhur)
- pharyngealized voiceless glottal fricative [hˁ] (in Tsakhur)
- pharyngealized labialized velar approximant [wˁ] (in Ubykh)
- pharyngealized labialized alveolar approximant [ɹˁʷ] (in English)
- Ladefoged, Peter (2005). Vowels and Consonants (Second ed.). Blackwell.
- Recasens, Daniel; Espinosa, Aina (2005). "Articulatory, positional and coarticulatory characteristics for clear /l/ and dark /l/: evidence from two Catalan dialects". Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (1): 1–25. doi:10.1017/S0025100305001878.