Alternative formsEdit


Derived from New Latin laryngeus +‎ -al, from larynx (larynx) +‎ -eus (adjectival suffix); surface analysis, as if laryng- +‎ -al or -ial.



laryngeal (not comparable)

  1. (anatomy, relational) Of or pertaining to the larynx.
    • 1871, S. G. Cook, “A Case of Hydrophobia”, in William A. Hammond, editor, The Journal of Psychological Medicine: Diseases of the Nervous System, Medical Jurisprudence and Anthropology[1], volume 5, page 83:
      At sight of it there commenced a series of laryngeal spasms, with clutchings at his throat, far more violent than any I had heretofore seen.
  2. (phonetics, relational) (of a speech sound) Made by or with constriction of the larynx with only the front part of the vocal cords vibrating, giving a very low frequency and producing what is known as "creaky voice."

Derived termsEdit



English Wikipedia has an article on:

laryngeal (plural laryngeals)

  1. (anatomy) An anatomical part (such as a nerve or artery) that supplies or is associated with the larynx.
  2. (phonetics) A sound uttered by using the larynx.
  3. (Indo-European linguistics) In Proto-Indo-European, one of the typically three reconstructed consonants usually marked as <h₁>, <h₂> and <h₃>.
    • 1940, J. Alexander Kerns; Benjamin Schwartz, “The Laryngeal Hypothesis and Indo-Hittite, Indo-European Vocalism”, in Journal of the American Oriental Society[2], volume 60, number 2, DOI:10.2307/594006, page 183:
      The vowel-coloring effects of the IH laryngeals cannot be considered apart from the vowel-reducing effect of the IH stress accent []
    • 1995, Andrew L. Sihler, New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin[3], New York: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page viii:
      [] it is not only different from Buck's in the linguistics (laryngeals have seen to that); it is very different in scope and aim.
    • 2006, Donald Ringe, From Proto-Indo-European to Proto-Germanic (A Linguistic History of English; 1)‎[4], Oxford: Oxford University Press, →ISBN, page 15:
      Finally, it should be noted that laryngeals not adjacent to syllabics were apparently deleted by three different rules.

Usage notesEdit

The term laryngeal in Indo-European studies is but an anachronistic misnomer, retained only because it has been established as a standard term for those three phonemes. The exact phonetic value of Proto-Indo-European laryngeals is unknown, but it's generally agreed that not all of them were real laryngeals.