Alveolar nasal click

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Alveolar nasal click
ǃ̃
ᵑǃ
ʗ̃
ᵑʗ
Encoding
Kirshenbaum n.! (n^!)[1]
Main articles: Alveolar clicks and nasal clicks

The (post)alveolar 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 ǃ̃ or ᵑǃ; a symbol abandoned by the IPA but still preferred by some linguists is ʗ̃ or ᵑʗ.

Features[edit]

Features of the (post)alveolar 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 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 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 central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.

Occurrence[edit]

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

Language Word IPA Meaning
Khoekhoe xuruǃomǃnâ [xȕɾúᵑǃˀóm̀ᵑǃã̀ã̀] = [xȕɾúʗ̃ˀóm̀ʗ̃ã̀ã̀] to yank at s.t.
ǃKung an [ᵑǃáŋ] = [ʗ̃áŋ] inside
Zulu inqola [iᵑǃɔ́ːla] = [iʗ̃ɔ́ːla] cart
Hadza henqee [ɦeŋᵑǃeʔe] = [ɦeŋʗ̃eʔe] dead leopard
Damin n!2u [ᵑǃᵑǃu] = [ʗ̃ʗ̃u] water, liquid

Glottalized alveolar nasal click[edit]

Glottalized
alveolar nasal click
ǃ̃ˀ
ᵑǃ͡ʔ
ᵑ̊ǃˀ
ʗ̃͡ʔ
ᵑʗˀ
Main article: Glottalized clicks

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
Khoekhoe xuruǃomǃnâ [xȕɾúᵑǃˀóm̀ᵑǃã̀ã̀] = [xȕɾúʗ̃ˀóm̀ʗ̃ã̀ã̀] to yank at s.t.
Hadza teqqe [teᵑǃˀe] = [teʗ̃ˀe] to carry
Xhosa ukuqhankqalaza [ukʼuǃʰaᵑǃˀalaza] = [ukʼuʗʰaʗ̃ˀalaza] to struggle

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kirshenbaum assigns n^! indifferently to both alveolar and palatal clicks.