Nasal lateral click

Nasal lateral velar click
Nasal lateral uvular click

The lateral nasal click is a click consonant found primarily among the languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ǁ̃⟩ or ⟨ᵑǁ⟩; a symbol abandoned by the IPA but still preferred by some linguists is ⟨ʖ̃⟩ or ⟨ᵑʖ⟩.

Features [ edit ]

Features of the lateral nasal click:

  • The airstream mechanism is lingual ingressive (also known as velaric ingressive), which means a pocket of air trapped between two closures is rarefied by a "sucking" action of the tongue, rather than being moved by the glottis or the lungs/diaphragm. The release of the forward closure produces the "click" sound. Voiced and nasal clicks have a simultaneous pulmonic egressive airstream.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • It is a nasal consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the nose, either exclusively (nasal stops) or in addition to through the mouth.
  • It is a lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.

Occurrence [ edit ]

Lateral nasal clicks are found primarily in the various Khoisan language families of southern Africa and in some neighboring Bantu languages.

Language Word IPA Meaning
ǃKung an [ᵑǁàŋ] = [ʖ̃àŋ] 'marama bean'
!Xóõ ǁnáã [ᵑǁɑ́ɑ̃] = [ʖ̃ɑ́ɑ̃] 'grewia berry'
Hadza konxa [koᵑǁa] = [koʖ̃a] 'to be a pair'
Zulu inxeba [iᵑǁɛ́ːɓa] = [iʖ̃ɛ́ːɓa] 'wound'

Glottalized lateral nasal click [ edit ]


lateral nasal click


All Khoisan languages, and a few Bantu languages, have glottalized nasal clicks. These are formed by closing the glottis so that the click is pronounced in silence; however, any preceding vowel will be nasalized.

Language Word IPA Meaning
Hadza slaxxa [ɬaᵑǁˀa] = [ɬaʖ̃ˀa] 'a split'
Khoekhoe tsoatsoaǁaposa [tsȍàtsòȁᵑǁˀàpòsa̋] = [tsȍàtsòȁʖ̃ˀàpòsa̋] 'principled'
Xhosa inkxumo [iᵑǁˀumo] = [iʖ̃ˀumo] 'a support'

Notes [ edit ]

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