Tenuis retroflex click
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|(Tenuis) retroflex click|
The voiceless or more precisely tenuis retroflex click is a rare click consonant. There is no symbol for it in the International Phonetic Alphabet, but one can be derived with a diacritic, 〈ǃ˞〉. The Douglas Martyn Beach convention is 〈‼〉, and this use used in practical orthography.
Features of the tenuis retroflex 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 retroflex, which prototypically means it is articulated subapical (with the tip of the tongue curled up), but more generally, it means that it is postalveolar without being palatalized. That is, besides the prototypical sub-apical articulation, the tongue contact can be apical (pointed) or laminal (flat).
- 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.
The tenuis retroflex click is only confirmed from a single language, Central !Kung.