|Places of articulation|
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 [ᵶ], the pharyngealized equivalent of [z].
- The symbol ⟨ˁ⟩ or ⟨ˤ⟩ (a superscript voiced pharyngeal approximant, or reversed glottal stop) after the letter standing for the pharyngealized consonant, as in [tˁ] or [tˤ] (the pharyngealized equivalent of [t]).
Both are easily confused in print: they look almost identical and are coded as superscript variants of ⟨ʕ⟩.
The swung dash 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 consonants ⟨ᵵ ᵭ ᵴ ᵶ ᵰ ᵲ ᵳ ɫ⟩.
The intended difference between the two Unicode values ⟨ˁ⟩ and ⟨ˤ⟩ is unclear. Graphically, the first more closely resembles a reversed ⟨ˀ⟩ (superscript glottal stop), the second a superscript ⟨ʕ⟩.
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. That feature is represented in the orthography by a tilde under the respective pharyngealized vowel. In Danish, many of the vowel phonemes have distinct pharyngealized qualities. 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.
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 voiced alveolar lateral fricative [ɮˤ] (in Classical 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 postalveolar approximant [ɹ̠ˁʷ] (in American 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.