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CHAT: Pharyngeal vs. Epiglottal

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Thursday, April 25, 2002, 8:07
Well I finally found out that when pronouncing the pharyngeal fricatives
[X\] and [?\] found in Arabic, I was actually pronouncing epiglottals. Then
I practiced a bit and found another place of constriction way back in my
tongue root and throat, which turns out to be a nicer-sounding consonant,
more raspy but less guttural. It also doesn't pull all my vowels back so
much, so I can pronounce [{] and not just [A]. A while ago I also figured
out I could utter palatized uvulars -- those can be found in Northwest
Caucasian languages.

(I'm using X-SAMPA transcription here by the way. I honestly don't like a
lot of things about it, but that's another story.)

Are there any natural or constructed languages that phonemically distinguish
epiglottals from pharyngeals or glottals? Are there any languages that even
*have* epiglottals?

Personally, epiglottal consonants give me a sore throat, so I hope not...