Tenuis bilabial click
|(Tenuis) bilabial click|
The voiceless or more precisely tenuis bilabial 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 〈ʘ〉. A second convention, now obsolete, was 〈ɋ 〉.
Features of the tenuis bilabial click:
- The airstream mechanism is lingual ingressive (aka 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 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.
- Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the central–lateral dichotomy does not apply.