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Re: Phonological terminology question

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Tuesday, February 18, 2003, 0:57
From: "Garth Wallace" <gwalla@...>

> Looking at the IPA/X-SAMPA chart, I see sections for "pulmonic" and > "non-pulmonic" consonants. What does that mean?
Lemme try... pulmonic consonants (and vowels) involve movement of air to and from the lungs. The vast majority of sounds in the world's languages are pulmonic egressive, that is uttered while breathing outward. Pulmonic ingression is involved in a "gasp", but I know of no natural languages with pulmonic ingression. After pulmonic, glottalic consonants are next in order of frequency. The most common is glottalic egressive, the consonants known as "ejective", found in languages as diverse as Amharic, Georgian, Navajo, Quechua and <shameless conlang plug>Tech</shameless conlang plug>. These involve pressure caused by a closure and raising of the glottis in the lower throat region, then a release of pressure at first the oral articulation (labial, dental, velar etc.) then the glottis. But glottal ingressive, or "implosive" consonants can be found, mostly in African languages like Hausa, Somali and Swahili, as well as other languages like Sindhi and Khmer. The glottis is lowered, creating a suction in the upper throat and mouth. Voiced implosives are more common than voiceless. The clicks of Khoisan languages in southern Africa are classified as "velar ingressive", meaning that there is closure at the soft or rear palate as well as another stop at the dental, alveolar, palatal/retroflex and lateral position (but there are also bilabial clicks and I don't know how these are produced). The front of the tongue is released just before the back, creating a vacuum then a "click" sound. These are also the sounds of "giddy-up" and "tsk-tsk". Finally, there are buccal egressives (air released from the cheeks, the speech of Donald Duck) and gastric egressive (BURP!!).


Garth Wallace <gwalla@...>
Fredrik Ekman <ekman@...>
Isaac A. Penzev <isaacp@...>
Peter Bleackley <peter.bleackley@...>