- Open or closed syllable
- Type of back consonant involved
- Whether it appears before or after /a/
- Vowel length
In terms of vowel quality, there are four flavours of /a/.
|[æ]||[æħæd] ‘one and unique’||default|
|[ɑ]||[ʁɑɑb] ‘he stayed away’|
|[ɒ]||[tˤɒɒb] ‘it ripened’, [ðˤɒll] ‘he became’|
The phrase خص ضغط قظ can be memorized to remember all the back consonants.
- 4 emphatic: /sˤ/, /dˤ/, /tˤ/, /ðˤ/
- 3 uvular: /χ/, /ʁ/, /q/
Everything else is a front consonant.