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Encyclopedia > Click consonant
Manners of articulation
Obstruent
Click
Plosive
Ejective
Implosive
Affricate
Fricative
Sibilant
Sonorant
Nasal
Flaps/Tap
Trill
Approximant
Liquid
Vowel
Semivowel
Lateral
This page contains phonetic information in IPA, which may not display correctly in some browsers. [Help]
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Clicks are stops produced with two articulatory closures in the oral cavity. The pocket of air enclosed between the two closures is rarefied by a sucking action of the tongue. The release of the more forward closure produces what in many cases are the loudest consonants in the language, although in some languages such as Hadza, clicks are more subtle and may even be mistaken for ejective stops. Clicks appear more stop-like or more affricate-like depending on their place of articulation: Clicks involving an apical alveolar or laminal postalveolar closure are acoustically abrupt and sharp like plain stops, while bilabial, dental and lateral clicks have a longer and acoustically noisier sounds that are more like affricates. In linguistics, manner of articulation describes how the tongue, lips, and other speech organs involved in making a sound make contact. ... In phonetics, an obstruent is a consonant sound formed by obstructing the airway. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Ejective consonants are a class of consonants which may contrast with aspirated or tenuis consonants in a language. ... Implosive consonants are plosives (rarely affricates) with a glottalic ingressive airstream mechanism. ... Affricate consonants begin as stops (most often an alveolar, such as or ), but release as a fricative such as or (or, in a couple of languages, into a fricative trill) rather than directly into the following vowel. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ... A sibilant is a type of fricative or affricate, made by directing a jet of air through a narrow channel towards the sharp edge of the teeth. ... In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant is a member of a class of speech sounds that are continuants produced without turbulent airflow in the vocal tract. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... In phonetics, a flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, which is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (such as the tongue) is thrown against another. ... In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. ... Approximants are speech sounds that could be regarded as intermediate between vowels and typical consonants. ... Liquid consonants, or liquids, are approximant consonants that are not classified as semivowels (glides) because they do not correspond phonetically to specific vowels (in the way that, for example, the initial in English yes corresponds to ). The class of liquids can be divided into lateral liquids and rhotics. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Semivowels (also called semiconsonants or glides) are vowels that function phonemically as consonants. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... Phonetic (pho-NET-ic) is a nationwide voicemail-to-text messaging service available for most digital mobile phones in which a subscriber is provided a custom voice mailbox for the purpose of receiving all incoming voice messages as actual transcribed text for reading via short messaging (also known as SMS... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the vocal tract. ... Tongue The tongue is the large bundle of muscles on the floor of the mouth that manipulates food for chewing and swallowing. ... Hadza is a language of Tanzania. ... Ejective consonants are a class of consonants which may contrast with aspirated or tenuis consonants in a language. ... An affricate is a consonant that begins like a stop (most often an alveovelar, such as [t] or [d]) and that doesnt have a release of its own, but opens directly into a fricative (or, in one language, into a trill). ... An apical consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue (i. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... A laminal consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the blade of the tongue, which is the flat top front surface just behind the tip of the tongue. ... Postalveolar (or palato-alveolar) consonants are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue between the alveolar ridge (the place of articulation for alveolar consonants) and the palate (the place of articulation for palatal consonants). ... Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips (bilabial articulation) or with the lower lip and the upper teeth (labiodental articulation). ... Dentals are consonants such as t, d, n, and l articulated with either the lower or the upper teeth, or both, rather than with the gum ridge as in English. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ...

Contents

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Distribution

See main article Click language. A Click language is a tribal tongue of Africa which is using Click consonants in its phonetic functions. ...


Clicks occur in all the Khoisan languages of southern Africa and in several neighbouring Bantu languages, such as Nguni (Zulu, Xhosa, Swazi, and Ndebele), Sesotho, Yeyi of Botswana, and the Mbukushu, Kwangali, and Gciriku languages of the Caprivi Strip, which borrowed them from Khoisan languages. Clicks also occur in Sandawe and Hadza, two languages of Tanzania traditionally classified as Khoisan, as well as in Dahalo, a nearby endangered South Cushitic language of Kenya, which may retain them from an episode of language shift. Map showing the distribution of the Khoi-San languages. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu (dull yellow) vs. ... Zulu (isiZulu in Zulu), is a language of the Zulu people with about 10 million speakers, the vast majority (over 95%) of whom live in South Africa. ... Xhosa (IPA: ) is one of the official languages of South Africa. ... The Ndebele language, or isiNdebele, or Sindebele, is an African language belonging to the Nguni group of Bantu languages, and spoken by the AmaNdebele (the Ndebele people). ... Sesotho is a language spoken in southern Africa. ... Location: Caprivi, Namibia Area: 19,532km (7,541 mi ) Population: 79,852 (2001), 90,422 (1991) Capital: Katima Mulilo Time Zone: South African Standard Time: UTC+1 Caprivi, sometimes called the Caprivi Strip or Caprivi Region and formally known as Itenge, is a narrow protrusion of Namibia eastwards about 450km... A Sprachbund (German for language bond, also known as a linguistic area, convergence area, diffusion area) is a group of languages that have become similar in some way because of geographical proximity. ... Sandawe is a tonal language spoken in the Dodoma region of Tanzania. ... Hadza is a language of Tanzania. ... Dahalo is an endangered South Cushitic language spoken by about 400 people in Kenya. ... The Cushitic languages are a subgroup of the Afro-Asiatic languages, named after the Biblical figure Cush by analogy with Semitic. ... Language shift is the process whereby an entire speech community of a language shifts to speaking another language. ...


The Southern African Khoisan languages only utilize root-initial clicks. Hadza, Sandawe, and several of the Bantu languages also allow syllable-initial clicks within roots, but in no known language does a click close a syllable or end a word. The root is the primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents. ... Hadza is a language of Tanzania. ... Introduction Sandawe is a tonal language spoken in the Dodoma region of Tanzania. ... Bantu is a language family that belongs to the Niger-Congo group. ... A syllable (Ancient Greek: ) is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. ...


The only non-African language known to employ clicks as regular speech sounds is Damin, a secret ritual code used by speakers of Lardil in Australia. One of the clicks in Damin is actually an egressive click, using the tongue to compress the air in the mouth for an outward (egressive) "spurt". A secret language spoken in the Gulf of Carpentaria used in mens initiation rites. ...


English and many other languages may use clicks in interjections, such as the dental "tsk-tsk" sound used to express disapproval, or the lateral click used with horses. In Ningdu Chinese, flapped nasal clicks are used in nursery rhymes. Clicks will occasionally turn up elsewhere, as in the special registers twins sometimes develop with each other. It has been suggested that Discourse particle be merged into this article or section. ... In linguistics, a register is a subset of a language used for a particular purpose or in a particular social setting. ...

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Types of clicks

As noted above, clicks necessarily involve two closures: an anterior one which is represented by the special click symbol in the IPA, and a posterior one which is usually velar but can also be uvular. This posterior articulation may be oral or nasal, voiced or voiceless, etc. (It's quite easy to pronounce a nasal click once you realise that while maintaining the double oral closure you're free to breathe through the nose.) Since the posterior articulation is most commonly velar (and can only be velar in most languages), only the place of the anterior articulation (called the release or influx) is normally mentioned, while only the manner of the posterior articulation (called the accompaniment or efflux) is specified. Thus a "nasal dental click" means a click with a dental anterior articulation/release and a velar-nasal posterior articulation/accompaniment. Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ...


There are numerous combinations of elements making up a click accompaniment, some of them quite daunting. These include voiceless, voiced, aspirate, breathy voiced, nasal, voiceless nasal, breathy voiced nasal, glottalized, voiceless nasal glottalized, affricate, ejective affricate, prevoiced, prenasalized, and others as well, including extremely complicated combinations such as a voiced velar click followed by voiceless affricated ejective, [gkǃx’], and a velar ejective click followed by uvular ejective, [kǃ’q’] (Ladefoged and Maddieson, 1996). This means that pentagraphs like gkǃx’ are possible in a practical orthography. However, many of these combinations are consonant clusters rather than separate phonemes. In linguistics, a consonant cluster is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. ...


The size of click inventories ranges from as few as four for the Dahalo language of Kenya, to dozens in the Juu and Tuu languages (Northern and Southern Khoisan), and up to 83 clicks (including 50 simple clicks) in ǃXóõ (Ladefoged and Maddieson, 1996). In the latter language, over 70% of words begin with a click. The Ju or Zhu languages, actually a dialect continuum, form a branch of the hypothetical Khoisan language family. ... The Tuu or Ta’a-!Kwi (Ta’a-!ui, Ui-Taa, Kwi) languages are a language family consisting of two transparently related language clusters spoken in Botswana and South Africa. ... !Xóõ is a Khoisan language with a very large number of phonemes, the most of any known language. ...

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Transcription

The five click releases with dedicated symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) are bilabial ʘ, dental ǀ, palato-alveolar or "palatal" ǂ, (post)alveolar or "retroflex" ǃ, and alveolar lateral ǁ. The retroflex and palatal releases are "abrupt"; that is, they are sharp popping sounds with little frication (turbulent airflow). The bilabial, dental, and lateral releases, on the other hand, are "noisy": they are longer, lip- or tooth-sucking sounds with turbulent airflow, and are sometimes called affricates. (They can, however, still have either affricate or non-affricate accompaniments.) The apical releases, ǃ and ǁ, are sometimes called "grave", because their pitch is dominated by low frequencies; while the laminal releases, ǀ and ǂ, are sometimes called "acute", because they are dominated by high frequencies. Thus the alveolar ǃ sounds something like a cork pulled from a bottle (a low pitched pop), at least in Xhosa; while the dental ǀ is like English tsk! tsk!, a high pitched sucking on the incisors. The lateral clicks are pronounced by sucking on the molars of one or both sides. The bilabial ʘ is different from what many people associate with a kiss: the lips are pressed more-or-less flat together, as they are for a [p] or an [m], not rounded as they are for a [w]. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... The bilabial clicks are a family of click consonants found only in the Southern Khoisan family, the ‡Hõã language of Botswana, and the Damin ritual jargon of Australia. ... The dental click is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The palatal click is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The postalveolar click is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The lateral alveolar click is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... An apical consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the apex of the tongue (i. ... A laminal consonant is a phone produced by obstructing the air passage with the blade of the tongue, which is the flat top front surface just behind the tip of the tongue. ...


The IPA came up with a set of Latin-based symbols for these sounds, but they were never much used, and were eventually given up for the Khoisanist symbols. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ...

symbol bilabial dental alveolar palatal lateral
Khoisanist ʘ ǀ ǃ ǂ ǁ
old IPA ʇ ʗ ° ʖ
Zulu c q x

There are a few less well attested releases, such as a noisy laminal denti-alveolar lateral release (Ⅲ [triple pipe] in an ad hoc transcription), which contrasts with an apical postalveolar lateral in Mangetti Dune ǃKung; an abrupt sub-apical retroflex release <‼> in Angolan ǃKung; and a "slapped" alveolar click [ǃ¡] in Hadza and Sandawe, where the tongue slaps the bottom of the mouth after the release. (These distinctions may suffice for the Damin releases as well.) However, the Khoisan languages are poorly attested, and it is quite possible that, as they become better described, more click releases will be found.


Technically, when a full click consonant (that is, an accompaniment plus release) is transcribed, a tie bar should be used, because the accompaniment overlaps the release in time. (For example, in a nasal click such as [ŋ͡ǂ], the nasal [ŋ] is pronounced before, during, and after the release [ǂ].) However, a tie bar is not often used in practice, and when the accompaniment is a simple [k], it will sometimes be omitted as well. That is, [ǂ] = [kǂ] = [ǂk] = [k͡ǂ] = [ǂ͡k].


The accompaniment is generally written first: [ŋ͡ǂ] or [ŋǂ]. However, many Khoisanists prefer to write the accompaniment second: [ǂ͡ŋ] or [ǂŋ]. This is because the diacritics which follow the click symbols belong to the accompaniment rather than the release. A prime example of this are the ejective clicks, as [ǂ͡q’]. Here it is the uvular [q’] that is ejective, not the palatal click release [ǂ], and the IPA convention of writing [q͡ǂ’] is misleading. Regardless, elements which do not overlap with the release are always written accordingly: The prenasalization is always written first in [ŋɡ͡ǂ] = [ŋǂ͡ɡ], and the second ejective is always written afterwards in [k͡ǂ’q’] = [ǂ͡k’q’].


While the SAMPA encoding for IPA into ASCII doesn't have symbols for transcribing clicks, the proposed X-SAMPA standard does: O, |, ||, =, and !. Some instead suggest ||, # or " for the alveolar lateral click. The Kirshenbaum system uses a different method: clicks are denoted by digraphs, with the click symbol (always "!") added to the stop homorganic to the release, but with the manner of the accompaniment. For example, /t!/ is a voiceless dental click, and /m!/ is a nasal bilabial click. (This transcription is used in the literature on Damin.) However, the International Phonetic Association recommends using the IPA symbols in Unicode, or using the number codes which they have assigned to each symbol. The Speech Assessment Methods Phonetic Alphabet (SAMPA) is a computer-readable phonetic script using 7-bit printable ASCII characters, based on the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). ... There are 95 printable ASCII characters, numbered 32 to 126. ... The Extended SAM Phonetic Alphabet (X-SAMPA) is a variant of SAMPA developed in 1995 by John C. Wells, professor of phonetics at the University of London. ... Kirshenbaum, sometimes called ASCII-IPA, is a system used to represent the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) in ASCII. It was developed for Usenet, notably the newsgroups sci. ... Because of technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ...

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Accompaniments (effluxes)

(Data is primarily from Ladefoged; see references at individual language articles.)


There is a great variety of click accompaniments, though it is a matter of debate how many of them are simple consonants and how many consonant clusters. With so few click languages, and so little study of them, it is also unclear to what extent clicks in different languages may be equivalent to each other.


Some Khoisan languages are typologically unusual in allowing mixed voicing in non-click consonant clusters, such as dt͡s’k͡x’, so it's not unexpected that they would allow mixed voicing in clicks as well, and this can be taken as evidence that these clicks are also clusters. Linguistic typology is the typology that classifies languages by their features. ... In phonetics, phonation is the use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ...


There is ongoing discussion as to which other clicks are best analysed as consonant clusters, as in several cases this is not obvious. For example, some linguists feel that ejective clicks are not possible, and that those described as such are most likely clusters. Indeed, in many languages this appears to be the case. However, in others phonetic measurements have found that, while the ejective release follows the click release, it is the accomplaniment closure that is ejective, not a subsequent consonant. (In Ladefoged's analysis in the table below, if there is only a single segment, this is indicated by a single non-subscript letter for the accompaniment.)


Of the languages illustrated below, ǃXóõ is Southern Khoisan, Nama, Korana, and Gǀui are Central Khoisan, Zhuǀ’hõasi is Northern Khoisan, and ǂHoan is unclassified. These languages are spoken primarily in Namibia and Botswana. (See List of Khoisan languages for classification.) Xhosa is a Bantu language of South Africa; Dahalo is a Cushitic language of Kenya; Hadza and Sandawe are spoken in Tanzania; and Damin was an initiation jargon in northern Australia. !Xóõ is a Khoisan language with a very large number of phonemes, the most of any known language. ... Nàmá, previously called Hottentot, is the most populous and widespread of the Khoisan languages. ... Korana is an endangered or even extinct Khoisan language of South Africa. ... G/wi or GÇ€ui (sometimes spelled Dcui) is a Khoisan language of Botswana with 2,500 speakers (2004 Cook). ... Ju|’hoan (also called Zu|’hõasi, Dzu’oasi, Zû-|hoa) is a Khoisan language spoken in the Northwest District of Botswana by about 5,000 people (2002) and by perhaps a comparable number across the border in Namibia. ... The Khoisan languages (also Khoesaan languages) are the indigenous languages of southern Africa. ... Xhosa (IPA: ) is one of the official languages of South Africa. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu (dull yellow) vs. ... Dahalo is an endangered South Cushitic language spoken by about 400 people in Kenya. ... The Cushitic languages are a subgroup of the Afro-Asiatic languages, named after the Biblical figure Cush by analogy with Semitic. ... Hadza is a language of Tanzania. ... Sandawe is a tonal language spoken in the Dodoma region of Tanzania. ... A secret language spoken in the Gulf of Carpentaria used in mens initiation rites. ...


The four Dahalo accompaniments occur only with a dental release. Damin has only a nasal accompaniment with its normal clicks, but in addition has a voiceless unaspirated release for its egressive "click".


For clarity, the full accompaniment is written after the release, and the tie bar is omitted.

IPA Alveolar release, plus: Languages found in
[ǃk] Voiceless unaspirated velar plosive Damin, Gǀui, Hadza, ǂHoan, Korana, Nama, Sandawe, Xhosa, ǃXóõ, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃq] Voiceless unaspirated uvular plosive Gǀui, ǂHoan, ǃXóõ
[ǃkʰ] Aspirated velar plosive Gǀui, ǂHoan, Korana, Nama, Xhosa, ǃXóõ, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃqʰ] Aspirated uvular plosive Gǀui, ǂHoan
[ǃk͡x] Voiceless affricated velar plosive ǃXóõ, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃq͡χ] Voiceless affricated uvular plosive Gǀui, ǂHoan
[ǃkˀ] Voiceless unaspirated velar plosive and glottal stop Korana, Nama, ǃXóõ, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃkˀ, ŋˀǃk] Voiceless glottalized velar plosive (prenasalized between vowels) Gǀui, ǂHoan, Sandawe
[ǃq’] Uvular ejective Gǀui, ǂHoan, ǃXóõ
[ǃg] Voiced velar plosive Gǀui, ǂHoan, ǃXóõ, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃg͡ɣ] Voiced affricated velar plosive Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃg, ŋǃg] Voiced velar plosive (prenasalized between vowels) Sandawe
[(ɴ)ǃɢ] Voiced uvular plosive (usually prenasalized) Gǀui, ǂHoan, ǃXóõ
[ǃg̈] Breathy-voiced velar plosive Xhosa
[ǃŋ] Voiced velar nasal Dahalo, Damin, Gǀui, Hadza, ǂHoan, Korana, Nama, Sandawe, Xhosa, ǃXóõ, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃŋʷ] Labialized voiced velar nasal Dahalo
[ǃŋ̈] Breathy-voiced velar nasal Xhosa
[ǃŋ̊] Voiceless velar nasal Dahalo, ǃXóõ
[ǃŋ̊ʷ] Labialized voiceless velar nasal Dahalo
[ǃŋ̊h] Voiceless delayed-aspirated velar nasal Gǀui, ǂHoan, Korana, Nama, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃŋ̊↓h] Voiceless ingressive pulmonic nasal with delayed aspiration ǃXóõ
[ǃŋ̊ˀ] Voiceless velar nasal and glottal stop Hadza
[ʔǃŋ] Preglottalized velar nasal ǂHoan, ǃXóõ
[ŋǃŋ̊ʰ] Voiced velar nasal followed by voiceless aspirated velar nasal Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃgh] Voiced velar plosive followed by aspiration ǃXóõ, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃɢh] Voiced uvular plosive, followed by aspiration ǃXóõ
[ǃgk͡x] Voiced velar plosive followed by voiceless velar fricative ǃXóõ
[ǃk͡x’] Affricated velar ejective Korana, Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃq͡χ’] Affricated uvular ejective Gǀui, ǂHoan
[ǃgk͡x’] Voiced velar plosive followed by voiceless affricated ejective Zhuǀ’hõasi
[ǃk’q’] Voiceless velar ejective, followed by uvular ejective ǃXóõ
[ǃgq’] Voiced velar plosive, followed by uvular ejective ǃXóõ
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Releases (influxes)

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Inventories of click releases

There are seven known click releases, not counting slapped or egressive clicks. These are bilabial affricated ʘ, or "bilabial"; laminal denti-alveolar affricated ǀ, or "dental"; apical (post)alveolar plosive ǃ, or "alveolar"; laminal postalveolar (palato-alveolar) plosive ǂ, or "palatal"; subapical postalveolar (retroflex) ǃ˞ (in central Ju); and two lateral clicks, which in the only dialects known to distinguish them (northern Ju) are laminal denti-alveolar lateral ǁ̻ with a forward release (or sometimes a palatal click with a lateral release), and apical postalveolar lateral ǁ̺ with a rear release. No language is known to contrast more than five releases.

Click release
inventory
Languages
dental ǀ only Dahalo
alveolar ǃ only seSotho
3 releases, ǀ, ǃ, ǁ Sandawe, Hadza, Xhosa, Zulu (in Hadza and sometimes Sandawe, ǃ is "slapped")
4 releases, ǀ, ǂ, ǃ, ǁ Korana, Nama, Yeyi, Zhuǀ’hõasi (southeastern Ju)
4 releases, ǀ, ǂ, ǃ˞, ǁ ǃKung (Grootfontein)
5 releases, ʘ, ǀ, ǂ, ǃ, ǁ ǂHõã, Nǀu, ǀXam, ǃXóõ
5 releases, ǀ, ǂ, ǃ, ǁ̺, ǁ̪ ǃKung (Angola)
5 releases, ʘ, ʘ↑, ǀ, ǃ, ǃ˞ Damin
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Names found in the literature

The oldest terms for the click releases, such as in Bleek 1911, are closer to modern terminology than much of what was published in between. Here are the terms used in some of the main references.

Click release Bantu letters Also known as:
ǀ dental c dental affricative/affricated/with friction; alveolar affricated; denti-alveolar; apico-lamino-dental
ǂ palatal palato-alveolar; alveolar; alveolar instantaneous; denti-alveolar implosive
ǃ alveolar q cerebral; alveolar implosive; palato-alveolar; palato-alveolar instantaneous; palatal; palatal retroflex; apico-palatal
ǁ lateral x lateral affricative/with friction; alveolar lateral affricated; post-alveolar lateral; lateral apico-alveo-palatal
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Click genesis and click loss

We do not know how clicks arose, and the development of clicks from other consonants has never been observed. However, it seems likely that they developed from consonant clusters or other complex articulations. There are languages in West Africa, for example, where bilabial clicks occur as allophones of other labial-velar consonants (Ladefoged 1968). Clicks are often portrayed as a primitive or primordial feature of human language, but we have no reason to suspect that they are very old compared to other speech sounds. In fact, given their complexity, they may be relatively recent. Labial-velar consonants are doubly articulated at the velum and the lips. ...


However, several still vibrant languages demonstrate click loss. For example, the East Kalahari languages have lost a large percentage of their clicks, presumably due to Bantu influence. Generally a click is replaced by a consonant that retains the manner of articulation of the accompaniment. Alveolar click releases ǃ tend to simply drop out, leaving a velar stop or affricate such as k, ɡ, ŋ, k͡x, while palatal clicks ǂ leave behind a palatal stop such as c, ɟ, ɲ, c’, or a post-alveolar affricate ʧ, ʤ, and dental clicks ǀ tend to leave an alveolar affricate ʦ behind. That is, in the latter cases the resulting consonant retains the manner of the accompaniment but the place of the release. The Khoe languages comprise the most diverse of the language families that existed in southern Africa prior to the Bantu expansion. ... Map showing the approximate distribution of Bantu (dull yellow) vs. ... In linguistics, manner of articulation describes how the tongue, lips, and other speech organs involved in making a sound make contact. ... Places of articulation (passive & active): 1. ...

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References

  • Ladefoged, Peter (1968), A phonetic study of West African languages: An auditory-instrumental survey. Cambridge University Press, 2nd edition. ISBN 0-521-06963-7
  • Ladefoged, Peter and Ian Maddieson (1996), The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-631-19815-6
  • Anthony Traill & Rainer Vossen (1997), Sound change in the Khoisan languages: new data on click loss and click replacement. JALL 18, 21-56.
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See also

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A Acoustic phonetics Affricate Airstream mechanism Alfred C. Gimson Allophone Alveolar approximant Alveolar consonant Alveolar ejective fricative Alveolar ejective Alveolar flap Alveolar nasal Alveolar ridge Alveolar trill Alveolo-palatal consonant Apical consonant Approximant consonant Articulatory phonetics aspiration Auditory phonetics B Back vowel Bilabial click Bilabial consonant Bilabial ejective Bilabial nasal...

External links

  • Collection of click-language links and audio samples.

  Results from FactBites:
 
Click consonant - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1726 words)
Clicks appear more stop-like or more affricate-like depending on their place of articulation: Clicks involving an apical alveolar or laminal postalveolar closure are acoustically abrupt and sharp like plain stops, while bilabial, dental and lateral clicks have a longer and acoustically noisier sounds that are more like affricates.
Thus a "nasal dental click" means a click with a dental anterior articulation/release and a velar-nasal posterior articulation/accompaniment.
Generally a click is replaced by a consonant that retains the manner of articulation of the accompaniment.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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