On Thu, 1 Feb 2001 17:18:10 -0800, J Matthew Pearson
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>> Pharyngeals are *weakened* uvulars? The world is a very strange place,
>> seeing as how I can produce uvulars just fine but pharyngeals give me
>> trouble...
>Pharyngeals are *not* weakened uvulars, at least not literally.  Uvulars
are made
>with constriction at the back of the throat.  Pharyngeals are made with
>constriction at the pharynx, which likes about halfway down the throat from
>uvula to the glottis.

Interesting... intuitively, I perceive this change as a very natural one.
Probably, not just weakening, but very close to it.

OTOH I read somewhere that the Semitic-type pharyngeals are actually
pharyngealized laryngeals rather than 'true pharyngeals' - which occur in
some languages of Dagestan (I never attempted at imitating the latter).