Tenuis lateral click

Tenuis lateral velar click
IPA Number 180, 203
Entity (decimal) ǁ​ʖ
Unicode (hex) U+01C1 U+0296
Braille ⠯ (braille pattern dots-12346) ⠇ (braille pattern dots-123)
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Tenuis lateral uvular click

The voiceless or more precisely tenuis lateral 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 ⟨ǁ⟩. The Doke/Beach convention, adopted for a time by the IPA and still preferred by some linguists, is ⟨ʖ⟩.[1]

Features [ edit ]

Features of the tenuis lateral 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 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 lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.

Occurrence [ edit ]

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

Language Word IPA Meaning
Hadza exekeke [ʔeǁekeke] = [ʔeʖekeke] 'to listen'
Khoekhoe ǂamǁgû [ᵑǂ͡ʔàm̀ǁṹṹ] = [ǂ̃ˀàm̀ʖṹṹ] 'to inadvertently bite a hard object'
Zulu xoxa [ǁɔːǁa] = [ʖɔːʖa] 'to converse'

References [ edit ]

  1. ^ Styled as either a digit ⟨5⟩ with the top removed, or an inverted glottal stop ⟨ʔ⟩. It perhaps derives from a cedilla written the size of a full letter.
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