Talk:Voiced pharyngeal fricative

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Claimed occurencres[edit]

Changed "Many languages claiming to have pharyngeal fricatives or approximants" to "Many languages claimed to ...", since languages, qua abstract entities, presumably do not go around claiming anything. Orcoteuthis 18:47, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

In French?[edit]

Doesn't this sound also exist in French (in the pronunciation of "r" or "rr")? Badagnani (talk) 20:52, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

The French sound is Uvular. If a speaker has a pharyngeal realization, it's probably ideolectal.— Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:07, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

Thank you; can we add a short section in this article describing the differences and why the voiced pharyngeal fricative is not a uvular trill (although they sound quite similar to the English-speaking ear)? To me, they sound the same and was wondering why the French sound wasn't included. Badagnani (talk) 21:13, 7 April 2008 (UTC)

No, because this sound isn't anything like the typical French <r>, and should not sound like that even to the English-speaking ear. The sound recording in the article doesn't reflect native pronunciation, which might be why it sounds like that to you. A common mistake that non-native speakers/learners of this sound make is using a more velar or uvular place of articulation. — Zerida 06:17, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
There's nothing wrong with putting sourced information about the accoustical properties of this or other sounds on Wikipedia. But this is sourced information, not original research about how it sounds like other similar consonants to English speakers. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 06:23, 8 April 2008 (UTC)
What is the source for the claim that a native-spoken voiced pharyngeal fricative sounds like a uvular fricative to English speakers? — Zerida 06:31, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I pronounce them about the same and it seems to me they're pronounced in a similar way. Badagnani (talk) 06:35, 8 April 2008 (UTC)

I know of no source that makes that argument. Even if sources like those used at non-native pronunciations of English can be found that argue that English speakers have difficulty with such sounds, it's still a POV issue here. That's why I'd argue against it. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 07:16, 8 April 2008 (UTC)


This discussion is irrelevant. (see the topic below).--AMSA83 19:32, 22 May 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AMSA83 (talkcontribs)

I speak french and it's true, in some areas in France (not in Quebec, Belgium, Switzerland and Africa), the "guttural r" is pronounced like a voiced pharyngeal fricative. It's "dialectal". —Preceding unsigned comment added by 78.129.51.169 (talk) 00:27, 17 May 2010 (UTC)
How would speaking French prompt you to know that? Or do you know of a source? — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 05:09, 17 May 2010 (UTC)

Sound sample and article do not match!!!![edit]

The sound sample is more like a voiced velar fricative (associated with the Arabic letter ghain غ) than the sound the article talks about (one associated with the Arabic letter 'ain ع). The dotting difference between the two Arabic letters may have brought about the error. A new sound sample may be needed. --AMSA83 22:48, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I have changed the sample with one I recorded.-- AMSA83 19:28, 22 May 2008 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AMSA83 (talkcontribs)
The recorded sound still doesn't correspond with the Semitic 'ain. I will replace it myself with the proper one.--Rafy talk 10:21, 12 April 2011 (UTC)

Does the sound really not occur at all in Arabic?[edit]

The sound sample sounds exactly like how I hear all Levantine and Egyptian Arabic speakers realize ayn in MSA. It sounds deeper than a typical realization in Eastern urban dialects, but even then I can't say I have ever heard a stop in anyone's realization of ayn, I mean yeah it is certainly some kind of approximant, but a stop? I am sure the source for this probably has its reasons for describing the sound as a pharyngealized stop, but is it a majority opinion? And in all cases, shouldn't Arabic still be in the table with the note at the end kept for clarification and a reference to the Arabic phonology page? I will wait a couple of days to see what everyone thinks, if I don't hear anything I will add an Arabic line to the table labeling it (Standard Arabic and some dialects) and refer to the Arabic phonology page. Cheers --Karkaron (talk) 23:15, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

I was asked this a few months ago on my talk page. The long and the short of it is that because earlier sources could not make a distinction between pharyngeal and epiglottal or between a pharyngeal fricative and pharyngealized glottal stop, earlier accounts are suspect. More recent accounts will generally base the description of Arabic sounds on earlier accounts so that the only thing we can really accept is a source that lays it out saying "this is what so-and-so says about pharyngeal consonants being epiglottal and our phonetic study shows that in this dialect it is truly pharyngeal." — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 01:19, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
What dialects of Arabic does the source study? I am particularly concerned about the way most Arabs pronounce the sound in MSA, to me it matches the sound sample here perfectly. Is there a sound sample for what the true Arabic sound is? But if Arabic in general, standard Arabic in particular doesn't have a plain pharyngeal, does that mean it isn't found on the IPA chart? What amount of diactricalization is needed to represent it? And most importantly, does this mean that all IPA transcriptions of Arabic words on Wikipedia should be corrected? Moreover since the survival of this sound in Hebrew is restricted to dialects with strong contact with Arabic, does this also extend to Hebrew? This is really interesting, I'll try to check out the reference.

--Karkaron (talk) 13:22, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

From my understanding, the idea of a true perfect/uniform MSA is a myth. It seems as though speakers fluent in MSA are influenced phonologically by their native dialect. One possibility for dialects is a voiced epiglottal fricative, which is on the IPA chart. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 17:50, 28 August 2008 (UTC)
  • Reply to all:

The recording was extracted from a an Internet source that exemplifies all the IPA sounds (i.e. all languages of the world, and Arabic was one among them) by ONE SINGLE speaker (phonetician). Definitely the speaker CANNOT represent the native pronunciation of ALL these languages. The ideal situation is that he should have asked native speakers from all around the world to send him samples of sounds of their languages. This of course would be time-consuming and difficult to achieve in some cases of languages. The sound represeted here is of course - as most reviewers have noticed- a voiced UVULAR fricative and it was articulated in a low, back-vowel environment [scribe-a]. This is not enough (and it may mislead some foreign learners of Arabic). It is better that this sound should also be articulated in a front, low-vowel environment [ash]. (User: 9abdulla). —Preceding unsigned comment added by 85.154.153.76 (talk) 03:42, 19 December 2008 (UTC)

done! --Wayunga (talk) 04:43, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
After reading the above discussion and Aeusoes1 discussion, I have to point out
  1. that as of 15 April 2012 version (File:Voiced pharyngeal fricative.ogg), the audio didn't utter the correct sound at the beginning, but the next time it uttered it correctly. The first time it was an approximant and the second time it was a fricative.
  2. That file (File:Aalam.ogg) which was used to supposedly clarify the sound, actually pronounced an approximant, and from his pronunciation it's very clear that he's not an Arabic speaker of any dialect because Middle Easterners and north Africans don't pronounce the open vowel [æ~ɐ~a~ɑ] in unstressed syllables as a schwa, as the speaker uttered it. Also he pronounced the open vowel in the stressed syllable as a centralized vowel [ä] which isn't very precise, because there are Arabic speakers who pronounce the open vowel in non-emphatic environment as half-way between the front and the center or sometimes slightly closer to the center, but not a completely centralized vowel. Other Arabic speakers pronounce it as [æ].
  3. The consonant in question varies between a voiced pharyngeal fricative and a voiced pharyngeal approximant for most speakers. So, a speaker who would pronounce this consonant as a fricative, may pronounce it at other times as an approximant. It's like the case of the rhotic in central Egypt, sometimes it's a trill and other times it's a tap, with no rules at all for that, not that it's pronounced as a trill around specific consonants/vowels or a tap around other consonants/vowels or that the stressed/unstressed syllables have any effect.
  4. The phoneme in question is pronounced differently by the Persian gulf speakers. I suppose it's a voiced epiglottal fricative, but not very sure, however, there comes the confusion...
  5. In the article (Voiced epiglottal fricative), the example written about Arabic may be incorrect, adding-up to the ambiguity. I'm also not sure if the file (File:Voiced epiglottal fricative.ogg) pronounced the consonant correctly or not. However, what I understand from the written example on Arabic, is that the word in question must be غرب ġarb, "west" (see غ), in which the first phoneme is pronounced [ɣ] or [ʁ] in most other dialects, not /ʕ/ (written with ع) as the article claims and edited, again, then I removed the [ʔˤ] based on that /ʕ/ has many pronunciations and it wasn't relevant to add it that way (/ʕ/ (or [ʔˤ])). However, it's not like [t̪ɑʢɑʃʃɐː] or [t̪ɑʢɑʃʃæː] example was correct from the first place, because in dialects and often when pronouncing Literary Arabic, there are no long vowels in the final unstressed syllables. Also the phrase "some dialects" is very ambiguous. Which dialects? Are they many dialects or one dialect? Where exactly?
We need to keep an Arabic example for the voiced pharyngeal fricative article, even if some people believe it's non-existent in Arabic dialects, because it's widely known as a voice existing in Semitic languages and Arabic dialects. We also must not be very obsessed with linking audio files pronouncing words, specifically Arabic words, because they are often imprecise and lead to other people conclude that the voiced pharyngeal fricative/approximant is non-existent in Arabic dialects. Thanks all. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 15:04, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for your attention, Mahmud. I think the issue is frustrating some people, so someone with authority on the matter weighing in is important. I wanted to respond to two things from your above post.
The first, that we should have an example here even though it may be false seems a little weird to me. We don't do this with the postalveolar fricatives of Russian (which are retroflex, but often transcribed as palato-alveolar). Could we not simply mention the dispute in article prose and keep it at that?
In regards to linking audio files, are you making a general claim about audio files in these tables, one about Arabic examples in these tables, consonants with greater dialectal variation (such as this), or this specific consonant? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:30, 10 June 2012 (UTC)
  1. Yes, we should of course mention something regarding the controversy of the phoneme in Arabic, although it normally exists as a voiced pharyngeal fricative/approximant for Egyptians, the people at the Levant, at west Arabia, at the rest of north Africa.
  2. I didn't mean to generalize, if I mistakenly gave that impression, but almost all the files I heard regarding pronunciations of Arabic words were so wrong, even wrong for any other Arabic dialect, and very clearly pronounced by non-Arabic speakers. It's not that I'm judging from my Egyptian Arabic phonology perspective, they were so wrong to a funny extent.
I also wanted to point out that the sounds pronounced from the very back of the mouth are indeed very hard to distinguish and it's unclear if they were fricatives or approximants or in between. Take [h] as an example. I also have to note that I remember having met a foreigner who said that when Arabic speakers pronounce the phoneme /ʕ/, he couldn't hear it, although he knew that it's in the specific words. I notice that almost all the foreigners who attempt to pronounce it, sound like they suffocate to utter it. There is a problem I notice here in Wikipedia. I often read things implying if the phoneme /ʕ/ wasn't pronounced as a voiced pharyngeal fricative/approximant by the people someone heard them pronouncing it, who would be from the Persian gulf, then they consider that it's never a voiced pharyngeal fricative/approximant, totally ignoring the wide variations of pronunciation from coast to coast. Take the velar vs uvular [ɣ]~[ʁ] غ and [x]~[χ] خ; the alveolar vs dental [d]~[] د and [t]~[] ت; the pharyngealization vs velarization []~[d̪ˠ] ض and []~[t̪ˠ] ط as examples. All of the previous pronunciations are considered standard to their respective peoples. We can never claim that some are standard and the others are dialectal. The clearest example on that is the plosive vs fricative/affricate [ɡ]~[ʒ]~[d͡ʒ] ج. Since all the literature describing the phoneme as originally [ɡʲ] or [ɟ], then we can't conclude that [ʒ]~[d͡ʒ] are more preferable or standard, just because the contemporary Persians use ج for [d͡ʒ] in their language. Thanks again. All I wish for the article is to be factual, unambiguous and not misleading. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 22:38, 10 June 2012 (UTC)

So the sound here File:Voiced_pharyngeal_fricative1.ogg is approximant, right? This the Arabic 'ayn as everyone knows it, btw (or at least a very well known variant, if you will, of it).-- What's_the_big_deal?! Arpose 21:22, 2 September 2012 (UTC)

Arabic should be added to the list... The 'voiced pharyngeal fricative' is in Arabic... btw, in Arabic... the word Arabic is spelled "ʕrabi" (عربي)... I can't add it myself because i nearly got the table messed up :O 9K58 Smerch (talk) 11:51, 7 April 2009 (UTC)
Agree: Some Arabic word should be added. I could, but there is a note not to add Arabic before discussing here. Sae1962 (talk) 13:25, 1 October 2013 (UTC)

File:Voiced_pharyngeal_fricative1.ogg may be deleted[edit]

I have tagged File:Voiced_pharyngeal_fricative1.ogg, which is in use in this article for deletion because it does not have a copyright tag. If a copyright tag is not added within seven days the image will be deleted. --Chris 07:09, 27 April 2009 (UTC)

Copyright tag added as needed. --AMSA83 12:26, 27 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by AMSA83 (talkcontribs)


In Danish[edit]

According to Guttural_R, the guttural, rhotic consonant in Danish is a voiced pharyngeal fricative. --213.236.196.39 (talk) 21:21, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Yes, according to Ladefoged on page 323 of Sounds of the World's languages "the Danish ‘r’ sound in words such as ‘råd’ (council) is not a uvular approximant as some textbooks describe it, but a pharyngeal approximant with an articulatory position similar to that in a low back vowel." — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 21:51, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Sound file[edit]

What is the full sequence of sounds in this recording? (E.g. for most of the other consonants the recording is [ka: aka:] where k = consonant). Lfh (talk) 10:09, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Sound quality[edit]

The sound file seems to be recorded at a very low sample rate, and it's difficult to make out anything but a vowel "a". -- 92.229.117.222 (talk) 21:18, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

It is at a low quality, but you probably can't hear anything but the vowel because your ears aren't primed to hear the sound. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 23:09, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Good lord - the sample sounds like someone growling through a speaking trumpet into a toilet bowl (if you think I'm exaggerating, you need to listen for yourself). Perhaps a native speaker could step up and contribute a better recording? 146.114.64.246 (talk) 21:35, 15 February 2011 (UTC)

The quality is fine, though I suspect it might be epiglottal. There is no "native speaker", the article is not about a specifuc language, it's about the sound.--Ancient Anomaly (talk) 00:53, 18 February 2011 (UTC)
The quality was terrible, so I recorded my own version and replaced it with Rafy's. TFighterPilot (talk) 15:14, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Actually it wasn't mine. BTW, don't forget to modify the description at commons.--Rafy talk 15:36, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Woah, you're quick. I changed it now. Btw, what do you think of my recording? TFighterPilot (talk) 15:42, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
You might want to clutch certain throat muscles while exhaling the 'Ayin to make it more pronounced. I'm not a big fan of "Youtube tutoring" but this video could help show the best way to produce this sound. Regards.--Rafy talk 19:30, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
That doesn't sound very pharyngeal (it sounds epiglottal instead), plus more like an approximant than a fricative. The Arabic phonology article describes the sound as "The so-called "voiced pharyngeal fricative" /ʕ/ (ع) is in fact neither pharyngeal nor fricative, but is more correctly described as a creaky-voiced epiglottal approximant /ʢ̰/.", which strikes me as exactly right for her 'ayin, including the 'creaky-voiced' part. --JorisvS (talk) 20:03, 10 August 2011 (UTC)
Well, that's how I pronounce ayin... :/ I guess that my ayin is an epiglottal approximant. Thanks for letting me know. TFighterPilot (talk) 21:04, 10 August 2011 (UTC)

Ok, I recorded it again. I think it came out better this time. It's no longer a pharyngealized glottal stop I think. TFighterPilot (talk) 11:42, 14 August 2011 (UTC)

Occurrence in Hebrew[edit]

I've decided to add the Hebrew example back in, since according to Hebrew phonology it does occur for some speakers. I think adding a note that it occurs only in Oriental dialects is sufficient. AlexanderKaras (talk) 14:28, 26 November 2010 (UTC)

What about this??[edit]

This sound is used in most dialects of Arabic and I am at loss at what it is exactly (fricative? pharyngeal? etc.) Will someone please link to this file in the right article or point to a similar file already linked to in the right article?__What's_the_big_deal?! 00:43, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

— Preceding unsigned comment added by MoonMan (talkcontribs) 00:43, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

I think it's a pharyngealised glottal stop, which Arabic phonology#Consonants mentions as what Thelwall asserts the 'ayin really is, phonetically speaking. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 19:57, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
This interpretation is mentioned in this article under "Occurrence", too, by the way. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 20:01, 22 November 2011 (UTC)

Contradiction in Occurrences section[edit]

Currently, the text introducing the table of languages in which the sound occurs conflicts with that table: It says that the sound occurs in Danish, but the list does not mention Danish (see also the above section on Danish); it says it does not occur in Arabic and Hebrew according to recent insights, but Arabic and Hebrew are listed nevertheless. We should really make our mind up on this point instead of confusing the reader. Is there any current dispute in the literature on the precise phonetic quality of the Danish and Arabic/Hebrew sounds? --Florian Blaschke (talk) 18:17, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

As can be seen in this edit, the sources cited were originally specifically for Arabic, not Hebrew. Someone would have to double check SOWL to see what L&M say, but so far it's a failed verification for dialects of Hebrew not having this sound. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 18:52, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Why the Arabic language example was removed from the list?.--Adamsa123 (talk) 12:41, 31 May 2012 (UTC)
It shouldn't have been added in the first place after this conversation. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 01:08, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
But why it shouldn't have been added?. The Arabic language have that consonant.--Adamsa123 (talk) 16:53, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
It's not clear that that's true. Sources that have actually taken a close phonetic look at the sounds in question have found that they were something else. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 17:00, 23 June 2012 (UTC)
Don't forget to check the above discussion #Does the sound really not occur at all in Arabic?. --Mahmudmasri (talk) 22:31, 10 July 2012 (UTC)