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Tracheal consonants: more

From:François CHAUVET <fchauvet@...>
Date:Saturday, June 4, 2005, 6:54
About having a "different" throat or epiglottis...

Well, although I'm not especially tall nor strong, I think I could look
like Arnold Schwarzenegger if I practiced bodybuilding (and stopped
smoking, BTW). But I doubt my children would inherit these characteristics.

I think this is similar to whatever happens when you learn a new language.
E.g. the dental fricatives [T] and [D] of English (and Spanish) or the
unrounded back closed vowel [M] of Russian sound pretty much alien to
someone with French as L1. But with a little practice you get them right.

Of course, these specific cases do not involve any substantial
modification of the phonic apparatus, just re-activating some "forgotten"
articulations. But IMHO, learning pharyngeal or (epi)glottal consonants is
very similar, perhaps only a bit more difficult, and does not involve any
kind of physical incompatibility with some sounds.

-- fchauvet