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My native language is Korean. I'm not learning Arabic, but I'm curious anyway.

Refer to the following link for the letter names I recorded myself: Arabic pharyngeal consonants

I think I can pronounce plain /ħ/ and /ʕ/ properly.

For the pharyngealized fricatives /sˤ/ and /zˤ/, I understand them as coarticulated [s͜ħ] and [z͜ʕ]. Is this a correct analysis?

For /dˤ/, I tend to realize it as implosive [ɗ]. Is this an acceptable allophone?

For /tˤ/, I'm not even sure what I'm realizing it as. Is it a pharyngeal-released affricate?

Did I pronounce them properly?

As the comments say, I pronounce them properly. So I have a remaining question. Did I phonetically analyze them correctly? (Essentially, the questions above.)

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  • 1
    Short answer: Yes.
    – amegnunsen
    Sep 21, 2019 at 9:01
  • @amegnunsen That's a relief. Yet I demand some phonological analysis. Sep 21, 2019 at 9:01
  • Phonetic is not the same as phonology. So, I cannot propose you a phonological analysis.
    – amegnunsen
    Sep 21, 2019 at 9:08
  • @amegnunsen Phonetical analysis is also appreciated. Sep 21, 2019 at 9:12
  • 1
    Short answer: close enough. You round [ħ,ʕ].
    – user6726
    Sep 21, 2019 at 14:39

2 Answers 2

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"Co-articulation" and/or "double articulation" is something the IPA has a hard time representing. And to a first approximation, [s͜ħ] isn't wrong. ص does indeed involve two constrictions, one up in the front of the mouth where [s] happens, and one back in the pharynx where [ħ] happens.

The reason it's not usually transcribed this way is that not all constrictions are created equal. Think of other doubly-articulated consonants like [kʷ]. The constriction at the velum is complete, blocking off the airflow entirely, but the constriction at the lips is weaker and only serves to "color" the sound. A "true" co-articulated consonant requires two roughly-equivalent constrictions, like [k͡p].

Similarly, the back constriction in ص isn't as complete as in [ħ]: it's more like an approximant than a fricative. So the typical IPA rendition treats it as a "coloring", like the labial articulation in [kʷ], and marks it with a superscript instead of a full letter: [sˤ]. The superscript ˤ is shorthand for "pharyngeal-colored" or "with a weak/secondary pharyngeal articulation", just like ʷʲˠˀ for "labial", "palatal", "velar", and "glottal" respectively.

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  • Strange thing is, I've seen IPA that represents coarticulated stops (including nasals), but never coarticulated fricatives or approximants. Is that because they assimilate to "colored" versions of the other? Oct 8, 2019 at 21:39
  • @DannyuNDos I imagine it's really hard to get simultaneous friction at two different points. For approximants, they happen: w is labiovelar, ɥ is labiopalatal. The common ones just get symbols of their own.
    – Draconis
    Oct 8, 2019 at 22:03
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For the pharyngealized fricatives /sˤ/ and /zˤ/, I understand them as coarticulated [s͜ħ] and [z͜ʕ]. Is this a correct analysis?

No.

For /dˤ/, I tend to realize it as implosive [ɗ]. Is this an acceptable allophone?

No.

For /tˤ/, I'm not even sure what I'm realizing it as. Is it a pharyngeal-released affricate?

No.

The pharyngealized consonants in Arabic are produced by spreading and flattening the back of the tongue. There is no co-articulation involved.

This book is old but still very good: https://archive.org/details/ThePhoneticsOfArabic-W.H.T.Gairdner/page/n2

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  • There is a double articulation, two places of articulation (back and front).
    – amegnunsen
    Oct 8, 2019 at 13:36
  • @amegnunsen. That is correct. But to analyse ص as "coarticulated [s͜ħ] " is dead wrong.
    – fdb
    Oct 8, 2019 at 13:43
  • If [ɗ] isn't an acceptable allophone, does that mean my ض doesn't sound correctly? Oct 8, 2019 at 16:22
  • Your ض is not bad. Your ط sounds like [tw], That is wrong.
    – fdb
    Oct 8, 2019 at 18:43
  • My advice is to start with the pharyngealised l in الله. That will give you the right tongue position. @DannyuNDos
    – fdb
    Oct 8, 2019 at 18:46

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