Tenuis alveolar click

Tenuis alveolar velar click
IPA Number 178
Entity (decimal) ǃ​ʗ
Unicode (hex) U+01C3 U+0297
Braille ⠯ (braille pattern dots-12346) ⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345)
Unicode character name for ǃ is LATIN LETTER RETROFLEX CLICK
Audio sample
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Tenuis alveolar uvular click

The voiceless or more precisely tenuis (post)alveolar 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 ⟨ǃ⟩. The Doke/Beach convention, adopted for a time by the IPA and still preferred by some linguists, is ⟨ʗ⟩.

Features [ edit ]

Features of the tenuis (post)alveolar 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 alveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, termed respectively apical and laminal.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, unaspirated, and unglottalized, which means it is produced without vibration or constriction of the vocal cords, and any following vowel starts without significant delay.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.

Occurrence [ edit ]

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

Language Word IPA Meaning
Hadza laqo [laǃo] = [laʗo] 'to trip'
Khoekhoe ǃgabe [ǃȁwé] = [ʗȁwé] 'to speak a Khoisan language'
Sesotho ho qoqa [hʊǃɔǃɑ] = [hʊʗɔʗɑ] 'to chat'
Xhosa iqanda [iǃanda] = [iʗanda] 'egg'
Zulu iqaqa [íːǃaːǃá] = [íːʗaːʗá] 'polecat'

Notes [ edit ]

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