Tenuis dental click

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(Tenuis) dental click
ǀ
ʇ
IPA number 177
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ǀ​ʇ
Unicode (hex) U+01C0 U+0287
Kirshenbaum t!
Sound
Main article: Dental clicks

The voiceless or more precisely tenuis dental 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 ǀ. The Doke/Beach convention, adopted for a time by the IPA and still preferred by some linguists, is ʇ.

Features[edit]

Features of the tenuis dental 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 dental, which means it is articulated with the tongue at either the upper or lower teeth, or both. (Most stops and liquids described as dental are actually denti-alveolar.)
  • 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 dental clicks are found primarily in the various Khoisan language families of southern Africa and in some neighboring Bantu languages.

Language Word IPA Meaning
Zulu icici [iːǀíːǀi] = [iːʇíːʇi] earring
Hadza cinambo [ǀinambo] = [ʇinambo] firefly
Khoekhoe ǀgurub [ǀȕɾȕp] = [ʇȕɾȕp] dry autumn leaves

Notes[edit]