Voiced alveolar lateral click

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Voiced alveolar lateral click
ǁ̬
ᶢǁ
ʖ̬
ᶢʖ
Encoding
Kirshenbaum dl!
Main article: Lateral clicks

The voiced alveolar 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 ǁ̬ or ᶢǁ; a symbol abandoned by the IPA but still preferred by some linguists is ʖ̬ or ᶢʖ.

In languages which use the Bantu letters for clicks, this is most commonly written gx, but it is written dx in those languages that use g for the uvular fricative.

Features[edit]

Features of the voiced alveolar 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 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. However, in some languages (like Swiss German) it can just mean that this consonant is pronounced shorter and weaker than its voiceless counterpart, while its voicedness or lack thereof is not relevant. In such cases it's more accurate to call such sounds lenis or lax.
  • 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]

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

Language Word IPA Meaning
Naro dxàí cgàa [ᶢǁàí ǀχàː] = [ʖ̬àí ʇχàː] cheek muscle
Sandawe gxõgxe [ᶢǁṍːᶢǁê] = [ʖ̬ṍːʖ̬ê] male greater kudu
Yeyi muawa [muᶢǁawa] = [muʖ̬awa] arrow

Notes[edit]