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Laryngeal consonant

Tongue shape

Laryngeal consonants are consonants with their primary articulation in the larynx: the pharyngeal, epiglotto-pharyngeal, epiglottal, and glottal consonants.[1][2]

The term laryngeal is often taken to be synonymous with glottal, but the larynx consists of more than just the glottis (vocal folds): it also includes the epiglottis and aryepiglottic folds. In a broad sense, therefore, laryngeal articulations include the radical consonants, which involve the root of the tongue. The diversity of sounds produced in the larynx is the subject of ongoing research, and the terminology is evolving.

The term laryngeal consonant is also used for laryngealized consonants articulated in the upper vocal tract, such as Arabic 'emphatics' and Korean 'tense' consonants.

See also


  1. ^ John Esling (2010) "Phonetic Notation", in Hardcastle, Laver & Gibbon (eds) The Handbook of Phonetic Sciences, 2nd ed.
  2. ^ Note that Esling (2010) has abandoned epiglotto-pharyngeal as a distinct articulation.