photograph International Workshop on Pharyngeals & Pharyngealisation

Co-organised by the Centre for Research in Linguistics and Language Science (CRiLLS), Newcastle University and Praxiling Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université Montpellier III

Date: 26 - 27 March 2009  
Venue: Research Beehive, Newcastle University 

**Final programme now available, please click here. ** 

Background on Pharyngeals and Pharyngealisation

Over the last 50 years, the study of pharyngeal and pharyngealised sounds has fascinated many a linguist due to their varied phonological representations, their complex articulation and co-articulation patterns, their late development in the process of language acquisition, and their sociolinguistic and crosslinguistic patterning. Approaches to the study of pharyngeal and pharyngealised sounds have included: a) phonological work looking at identifying consistent and uniform characteristics for this class of sounds b) experimental work looking at auditory, acoustic, and articulatory manifestations of pharyngeal constrictions c) acquisition studies looking at pharyngeals in babies’ early vocalisations regardless of language and later development in languages which contain these sounds d) socioliguistic work identifying cross-linguistic and cross-dialectal differences in the realisation of these sounds as well as the influence of social factors such gender, ethnicity, and social class. For more information please click here.

Aims of the Workshop

The purpose of this workshop is to bring together researchers from around the world who have worked on pharyngeal and pharyngealised sounds in the different areas mentioned above in order to share expertise in different methodologies and theoretical approaches to the study of these sounds and attempt to answer various outstanding questions regarding:

  1. Language universals: why are pharyngeal sounds present in only 1% of languages surveyed in the UPSID data base when they are present in children’s early vocalisations? How have these sounds evolved in languages that have lost the pharyngeal distinctions? Is there a relationship between a dense consonantal system and the existence of pharyngeal/pharyngealised sounds in a language?
  2. Production and perception: what are the acoustic, articulatory, and perceptual correlates of pharyngeal and pharyngealised sounds? What role do visual cues (e.g. lip rounding) play in processing pharyngeal articulations?
  3. The sociolinguistic indices of pharyngeal/pharyngealised articulations: How does pharyngealisation manifest itself in different languages/dialects? Is the gender-correlated patterning that has been documented in urban areas in the Arab world with respect to de-emphasis found in other varieties/languages with pharyngeal/pharyngealised articulations? How are pharyngeal articulations affected in language contact situations?
  4. Acquisition: at what age are pharyngeal and pharyngealised sounds acquired and what are the developmental manifestations across languages and/or dialects?  
Invited Speakers
  • Dr John Esling, University of Victoria (Canada)
  • Dr Zeki Majeed Hassan, Al-Zaytoonah University (Jordan)
  • Dr Barry Heselwood, University of Leeds (UK)
  • Prof Asher Laufer, The Hebrew University (Israel
  • Prof Ian Maddieson, University of New Mexico (USA)
  • Dr Slim Ouni, CNRS-Université de Nancy I (France)
  • Dr Yves Laprie, CNRS-Université de Nancy I (France)
  • Dr Rachid Ridouane, LPP CNRS-Université Paris III (France)
  • Dr Kimary Shahin, Qatar University (Qatar)
  • Prof Jim Scobbie, Queen Margaret University (UK)
  • Prof Janet Watson, University of Salford (UK)
  • Dr Chakir Zeroual, Faculté Polydisciplinaire de Taza (Morocco)
Scientific Committee
  • Jalal Al-Tamimi (Newcastle University)
  • Enam Al Wer (Essex University)
  • Thomas Baer (University of Cambridge)
  • Jean-Francois Bonnot (Université de Besançon)
  • Nick Clements (LPP CNRS-Université Paris III)
  • Stuart Davis (Indiana University)
  • Susanne Fuchs (Berlin University)
  • John McCarthy (UMASS)
  • Mohamed Embarki (Université Montpellier III)
  • Kenneth de Jong (Indiana University)
  • Ghada Khattab (Newcastle University)
  • Amanda Miller (University of British Columbia)
  • Daniel Recasens (University Autònoma of Barcelona)
  • Harvey Sussman (University of Texas)
  • Nathalie Vallée (Université Stendhal, Grenoble)  
Organisation of the Workshop

The programme consists of 11 invited oral presentations and a poster session.

Guidelines for Posters
  • Portrait layout
  • maximum 84.1 wide x 118.9cm high (A0 size)

For further guidelines on preparing and presenting your poster, please click here

Workshop Themes

We welcome work on pharyngeals and pharyngealisation in any of the following fields:

  • Universals
  • Phonology
  • Production and perception
  • Modelling
  • Acquisition
  • Sociolinguistic variation      
Places are available for participants who are not presenting papers but who will participate in discussions. 
  • Early deadline (£80 for staff and £40 for students):  February 22, 2009
  • Late registration (£100 for staff and £50 for students):  February 23 - March 25
  • Registration on the day: £120 for staff and £60 for students

Accommodation ranging from Youth Hostels (£20 per person per night) to 4 stars (£100 per person per night) is available to participants from the 25th to the 31st of March and can be booked directly by clicking on the following website:

Please note that accommodation booking is managed by the hotels/hostels in collaboration with the NewcastleGateshead Convention Bureau so any queries about acommodation should be directed to them instead of the conference organisers.


For more information on travelling to and around Newcastle please visit link to where you can also download maps of the city centre and campus.

Organization Committee

Jalal Al-Tamimi, CRiLLS, Newcastle University (UK).

Mohamed Embarki, Praxiling UMR 5267 CNRS-Montpellier III (France).

Ghada Khattab, CRiLLS, Newcastle University (UK).

Hussain Kriba, CRiLLS, Newcastle University (UK).

Published: 15th October 2008