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pharyngeals and the tongue root

From:dirk elzinga <dirk.elzinga@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 1, 2000, 19:55
On Wed, 1 Mar 2000, Eric Christopherson wrote:

> Also, what general effects do pharyngeals have on surrounding vowels? I > remember reading that [i] became [E] and [u] became [O] in pharyngeal > environments in some language, but I'm not sure. An explanation of why they > are influenced that way would help as well. Thanks!
Kristian has already weighed in on this question, but I'd just like to add that what vowels such as [E] and [O] have in common with pharyngeals is a retracted tongue root (this is definitional for pharyngeals). The tongue is an incompressible mass; so if the tongue is expanded by retracting the root it's gotta be constricted somewhere else. Often this results in lowering of high vowels, so [i] would become [I] or even [E]. Dirk -- Dirk Elzinga