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Re: Them durned pharyngeal fricatives

From:David Peterson <digitalscream@...>
Date:Friday, January 18, 2002, 23:04
    One thing to keep in mind (I've read both posts) is that the vowel [A] is
typified by its pharyngeal constriction.  This is why pharyngeal consonants
attract [A] like vowels.  A couple things I noticed in my Arabic class:

1) The combination fatha + yaa was always pronounced as [e] or [ej], as in
bait [beit] "house".  When a word began with a pharyngeal, though, the
diphthong was realized as [aj], as in 'ayn [3ajn].  Similarly, the fatha +
waw combination was always pronounced [o].  But when a pharygeal preceded, it
came out as [aw], such as in saHawtuu [s@Hawtu] "I woke up" (if I'm
remembering right).

2.) Whenever a pharyngeal preceded a long yaa, a short schwa was inserted,
resulting in a diphthong like [@j].

    Also, in the vowels of an Indonesian language starting with an "m" whose
name I'm forgetting...  They adopted Arabic as their main language.  Anyway,
in this language (Maltese?  No...), all the /a/ vowels shifted up to [i],
except for the ones that followed emphatics, which remained [a].  This incl
udes uvulars, which is so close to the pharyngeal place of articulation that
they affect surrounding sounds the same way (for the vowel [a], for instance,
there's an antinode at the pharyngeal/uvular place of articulation).
    But also, I've heard that the 'ayn isn't a true pharyngeal, but a
pharyngealized glottal stop.  The tenseness you feel is the back of your
tongue closing around the pharyngeal area, which draws the whole tongue body
backwards (which is my theory as to why /D'/, emphatic [D], is more often
than not realized as [z']).  Hope I've added to rather than detracted from
the discussion.


"Zi hiwejnat zodZaraDatsi pat Zi mirejsat dZaCajani sUlo."
"The future's uncertain and the end is always near."
                --Jim Morrison