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Epiglottal consonants

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Places of articulation
Labial
Bilabial
Labial-velar
Labial-alveolar
Labiodental
Bidental
Coronal
Linguolabial
Interdental
Dental
Alveolar
Apical
Laminal
Postalveolar
Alveolo-palatal
Retroflex
Dorsal
Palatal
Labial-palatal
Velar
Uvular
Uvular-epiglottal
Radical
Pharyngeal
Epiglotto-pharyngeal
Epiglottal
Glottal

An epiglottal consonant is a consonant that is articulated with the aryepiglottic folds (see larynx) against the epiglottis. They are occasionally called aryepiglottal consonants.

Epiglottal consonants in the IPAEdit

The epiglottal consonants identified by the International Phonetic Alphabet are:

IPA Description Example
Language Orthography IPA Meaning
File:Xsampa-greaterthanslash.png voiceless epiglottal plosive Aghul jaʡ[citation needed] center
File:Xsampa-lessthanslash.png voiced epiglottal fricative or approximant Arabic تَعَشَّى tɑʢɑʃʃæ to have supper
File:Xsampa-Hslash.png voiceless epiglottal fricative Aghul mɛʜ whey
  • A voiced epiglottal plosive may not be possible. When one becomes voiced intervocalically in Dahalo, for example, it becomes a tap.
  • Although traditionally placed in the fricative row of the IPA chart, ⟨ʢ⟩ is usually an approximant. The IPA symbol itself is ambiguous, but no language has a distinct fricative and approximant at this place of articulation. Sometimes the lowering diacritic is used to specify that the manner is approximant: ⟨ʢ̞⟩.
  • Epiglottal trills are quite common (for epiglottals, that is), but this can usually be considered a phonemic plosive or a fricative, with the trill being phonetic detail. The IPA has no symbol for this, though ⟨я⟩ is sometimes seen in the literature.

CharacteristicsEdit

Epiglottals are not known from many languages. However, this may partially be an effect of the difficulty European language-speaking linguists have in recognizing them. On several occasions, when supposedly pharyngeal consonants were actually measured, they turned out to be epiglottals. This was the case for Dahalo, for example.

Epiglottals are primarily known from the Mideast (in the Semitic languages) and from British Columbia ("pharyngeal trills" in northern Haida), but may occur elsewhere. It is likely that several of the Salish or Wakashan languages of British Columbia reported to have "pharyngeals" actually have epiglottals, and the same may be true of some of the languages of the Caucasus.

In 1995 a new possible radical place of articulation, epiglotto-pharyngeal, was reported.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit


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