Pharyngeal approximant

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 ?\.

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

Features of the voiced pharyngeal approximant fricative:

Occurrence

Pharyngeal consonants are not widespread. Sometimes, a pharyngeal approximant develops from a uvular approximant, as with the rhotic of Danish when it precedes [ɑ]. 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'
Avar гӀоркь [ʕortɬʼː] 'handle'
Berber Kabyle ɛemmi [ʕəmːi] 'my (paternal) uncle' Written as ⟨â⟩ in most other Berber languages.[3]
Chechen Ӏан / jan ) 'winter'
Hebrew Iraqi עברית [ʕibˈriːθ] 'Hebrew language' See Modern Hebrew phonology
Yeminite )
Sephardi )
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
Somali caadi ) 'normal' See Somali phonology
Sioux Stoney marazhud [maʕazud] 'rain'
Syriac Turoyo ܐܰܪܥܳܐ [arʕo] 'earth (planet)' ʕ is often not pronounced in Eastern Syriac varieties.

See also

References

Bibliography

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