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Re: THEORY: Feature geometry for uvulars/pharyngeals

From:Julien Eychenne <je@...>
Date:Sunday, June 29, 2003, 22:07

Joe a écrit :

>>But [pharyngeal] is just a label. Maybe [guttural] is more appropriate, >>though I personnally prefer [pharyngeal]. It's just like saying that [i] >>is [coronal] : it doesn't make sense on its own, but it is a rough label >>that allows you to have a unified treatment of consonants and vowels. > > > I think you're thinking of Laryngeals. Pharyngeals are a specific place in > the mouth.
I am not ;). In several element-based frameworks, the [pharyngeal] feature is responsible for "A-ness" (backness and/or openness) so that [e] is some kind of "pharyngeal [i]", while [E] is some kind of palatal [a] (both have |I| and |A|, the former is more |I|, and the latter more |A|). So I see no problem in saying that uvulars are somehow related to pharyngeals (and this is a common view in phonology, see Dependency Phonology or Government Phonology). Moreover Clements (who uses a geometrical framework), in an article written in 1993 (a translation of the title is _Consonants and Vowels Place of Articulation : a Unified Theory_, as it appeared in a french book) uses the binary feature [+ radical] for low vowels ([a] and [Q]) and pharyngal consonants. So there is no problem with using rough labels : the point is that they must allow you to distinguish all places of articulation. Regards, Julien.