IPA Number422
Entity (decimal)ˠ
Unicode (hex)U+02E0
Velarized or pharyngealized

Velarization or velarisation is a secondary articulation of consonants by which the back of the tongue is raised toward the velum during the articulation of the consonant. In the International Phonetic Alphabet, velarization is transcribed by one of four diacritics:

  • A tilde or swung dash through the letter U+0334 ̴ COMBINING TILDE OVERLAY covers velarization, uvularization and pharyngealization, as in [ɫ] (the velarized equivalent of [l])
  • A superscript Latin gamma U+02E0 ˠ MODIFIER LETTER SMALL GAMMA after the letter standing for the velarized consonant, as in (a velarized [t])
  • To distinguish velarization from a velar fricative release, may be used instead of ˠ[1]
  • A superscript ⟨w⟩ U+02B7 ʷ MODIFIER LETTER SMALL W indicates either simultaneous velarization and labialization, as in or , or labialization of a velar consonant, as in .

Although electropalatographic studies have shown that there is a continuum of possible degrees of velarization,[2] the IPA does not specify any way to indicate degrees of velarization, as the difference has not been found to be contrastive in any language. However, the IPA convention of doubling diacritics to indicate a greater degree can be used: ˠˠ.

  1. ^ Vd. Tryon (1995) Comparative Austronesian Dictionary"
  2. ^ Recasens & Espinosa (2005:2) citing Recasens, Fontdevila & Pallarès (1995)

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