Epiglottal approximant

The voiced epiglottal fricative or approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʢ⟩.

Although traditionally placed in the fricative row of the IPA chart, ⟨ʢ⟩ is usually an approximant. The IPA symbol itself is ambiguous, but no language has a distinct fricative and approximant at this place of articulation. Sometimes the lowering diacritic is used to specify that the manner is approximant: ⟨ʢ̞⟩.


Features of the voiced epiglottal approximant/fricative:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Arabic Some dialects[1] تَعَشَّى [tɑʢɑʃʃæ] 'to have supper' Corresponds to /ʕ/ in Standard Arabic and other varieties. See Arabic phonology

Few languages distinguish between pharyngeal and epiglottal fricatives, and in fact the fricatives in Arabic are routinely described as "pharyngeal." However, according to Peter Ladefoged, the Burkikhan dialect of the Aghul language has both (as well as an epiglottal stop).

See also



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