Nasal bilabial click

Nasal bilabial velar click
Nasal bilabial uvular click

The bilabial nasal click is a click consonant found in some of the languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʘ̃⟩ or ⟨ᵑʘ⟩.

Features [ edit ]

Features of the bilabial 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 place of articulation is bilabial, which means it is articulated with both lips.
  • 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.

Occurrence [ edit ]

Bilabial nasal clicks only occur in the Tuu and Kx'a families of southern Africa, in the Australian ritual language Damin, and for /mw/ in some of the languages neighboring Shona, such as at least for some speakers of Ndau and Tonga.

Language Word IPA Meaning
Damin m!ii [ʘ̃iː] 'vegetable'
Tonga kumwa [kʼuʘ̃wa] 'to drink'
Ndau mwana [ʘ̃wana] 'child'

Glottalized bilabial nasal click [ edit ]


bilabial nasal click



The Tuu and Kx'a languages also 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

Notes [ edit ]

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