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A throat-clear is a sound made at the back of the throat. [1]


The throat-clear is articulated as a single-syllable exclamation, written onomatopoeiacally as "hem"; [2] or it may be articulated as a double-syllable sound, written as "ahem", which is expressed by inhaling slightly and then exhaling more forcibly.


The deliberately executed throat-clear is a nonverbal, paralingual form of metacommunication. [3] A loud, exaggerated throat-clearing noise may sometimes be used to get attention.

Upper respiratory

The throat-clear may be articulated consciously or unconsciously as a symptom of a number of laryngopharyngeal (upper respiratory tract) ailments. [4]


Continual throat-clearing is a symptom of chronically dry vocal cords, caused by insufficiently produced amounts of mucus due to inadequate amounts of water and by excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol.

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In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are and [b], pronounced with the lips; and [d], pronounced with the front of the tongue; and [g], pronounced with the back of the tongue;, pronounced in the throat;, [v], and, pronounced by forcing air through a narrow channel (fricatives); and and, which have air flowing through the nose (nasals). Contrasting with consonants are vowels.

International Phonetic Alphabet Alphabetic system of phonetic notation

The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabetic system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin script. It was devised by the International Phonetic Association in the late 19th century as a standardized representation of speech sounds in written form. The IPA is used by lexicographers, foreign language students and teachers, linguists, speech–language pathologists, singers, actors, constructed language creators and translators.

Schwa Vowel sound

In linguistics, specifically phonetics and phonology, schwa is the mid central vowel sound, placed in the central position of the vowel chart, denoted by the IPA symbol ⟨ə⟩, or another vowel sound close to that position. It is the vowel sound produced when the lips, tongue, and jaw are completely relaxed. An example in English is the vowel sound of the ⟨a⟩ in the word about. Schwa in English is found in unstressed positions, but in some other languages it occurs more frequently as a stressed vowel.

Palatine uvula Fleshy appendage that hangs from the back of the palate

The palatine uvula, usually referred to as simply the uvula, is a conic projection from the back edge of the middle of the soft palate, composed of connective tissue containing a number of racemose glands, and some muscular fibers. It also contains many serous glands, which produce thin saliva.

An interjection is a word or expression that occurs as an utterance on its own and expresses a spontaneous feeling or reaction. It is a diverse category, encompassing many different parts of speech, such as exclamations (ouch!, wow!), curses (damn!), greetings, response particles, hesitation markers, and other words. Due to its diverse nature, the category of interjections partly overlaps with a few other categories like profanities, discourse markers, and fillers. The use and linguistic discussion of interjections can be traced historically through the Greek and Latin Modistae over many centuries.

A mora is a basic timing unit in the phonology of some spoken languages, equal to or shorter than a syllable. For example, a short syllable such as ba consists of one mora (monomoraic), while a long syllable such as baa consists of two (bimoraic); extra-long syllables with three moras (trimoraic) are relatively rare. Such metrics is also referred to as syllable weight.

Cough Sudden expulsion of air from the lungs as a reflex to clear irritants

A cough is a sudden expulsion of air through the large breathing passages that can help clear them of fluids, irritants, foreign particles and microbes. As a protective reflex, coughing can be repetitive with the cough reflex following three phases: an inhalation, a forced exhalation against a closed glottis, and a violent release of air from the lungs following opening of the glottis, usually accompanied by a distinctive sound.

Indian English (IE) is a group of English dialects spoken in India and among the Indian diaspora. English is used by the Indian government for communication, along with Hindi as enshrined in the Constitution. English is an official language of 7 states and 5 Union Territories and also an additional official language of 7 states and 1 Union Territory. English is also the sole official language of the Judiciary of India, unless a state governor or legislature mandates the use of a regional language, or the president has given approval for the use of regional languages in courts.

Phlegm is mucus produced by the respiratory system, excluding that produced by the nasal passages. It often refers to respiratory mucus expelled by coughing, otherwise known as sputum. Phlegm, and mucus as a whole, is in essence a water-based gel consisting of glycoproteins, immunoglobulins, lipids and other substances. Its composition varies depending on climate, genetics, and state of the immune system. Its color can vary from transparent to pale or dark yellow and green, from light to dark brown, and even to dark grey depending on the constituents. The body naturally produces about 1 quart of phlegm every day to capture and clear substances in the air and bacteria from the nose and throat.

Laryngitis Medical condition

Laryngitis is inflammation of the larynx. Symptoms often include a hoarse voice and may include fever, cough, pain in the front of the neck, and trouble swallowing. Typically, these last under two weeks.

The voiced alveolar lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents dental, alveolar, and postalveolar lateral approximants is ⟨l⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is l.

Paralanguage, also known as vocalics, is a component of meta-communication that may modify meaning, give nuanced meaning, or convey emotion, by using techniques such as prosody, pitch, volume, intonation, etc. It is sometimes defined as relating to nonphonemic properties only. Paralanguage may be expressed consciously or unconsciously.

Like many other languages, English has wide variation in pronunciation, both historically and from dialect to dialect. In general, however, the regional dialects of English share a largely similar phonological system. Among other things, most dialects have vowel reduction in unstressed syllables and a complex set of phonological features that distinguish fortis and lenis consonants.

In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived length of a vowel sound: the corresponding physical measurement is duration. In some languages vowel length is an important phonemic factor, meaning vowel length can change the meaning of the word, for example in: Arabic, Estonian, Finnish, Fijian, Kannada, Malayalam, Japanese, Latin, Old English, Scottish Gaelic, and Vietnamese. While vowel length alone does not change word meaning in most dialects of English, it is said to do so in a few dialects, such as Australian English, Lunenburg English, New Zealand English, and South African English. It also plays a lesser phonetic role in Cantonese, unlike in other varieties of Chinese.

In linguistics, prosody is concerned with elements of speech that are not individual phonetic segments but are properties of syllables and larger units of speech, including linguistic functions such as intonation, stress, and rhythm. Such elements are known as suprasegmentals.

Articulation is a fundamental musical parameter that determines how a single note or other discrete event is sounded. Articulations primarily structure an event's start and end, determining the length of its sound and the shape of its attack and decay. They can also modify an event's timbre, dynamics, and pitch. Musical articulation is analogous to the articulation of speech, and during the Baroque and Classical periods it was taught by comparison to oratory.

The Yele language, or Yélî Dnye, is the language of Rossel Island, the easternmost island in the Louisiade Archipelago off the eastern tip of Papua New Guinea. There were some 4,000 speakers in 1998, comprising the entire ethnic population. The language remains unclassified by linguists.


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Ear clearing Equalising of pressure in the middle ears

Ear clearing or clearing the ears or equalization is any of various maneuvers to equalize the pressure in the middle ear with the outside pressure, by letting air enter along the Eustachian tubes, as this does not always happen automatically when the pressure in the middle ear is lower than the outside pressure. This need can arise in scuba diving, freediving/spearfishing, skydiving, fast descent in an aircraft, fast descent in a mine cage, and being put into pressure in a caisson or similar pressure-bearing structure, or sometimes even simply travelling at fast speeds in an automobile.

Palantla Chinantec, also known as Chinanteco de San Pedro Tlatepuzco, is a major Chinantecan language of Mexico, spoken in San Juan Palantla and a couple dozen neighboring towns in northern Oaxaca. The variety of San Mateo Yetla, known as Valle Nacional Chinantec, has marginal mutual intelligibility.


  1. "CLEAR YOUR THROAT | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary".
  2. Nänny, Max; Fischer, Olga (1999). Form Miming Meaning: Iconicity in Language and Literature. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN   9789027221797 . Retrieved 25 July 2019.
  3. "ahem". Onomatopoeia List. August 10, 2013.
  4. "Throat Clearing - Symptoms, Causes, Treatments". June 26, 2014.