Voiced palatal click

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Voiced palatal click
ǂ̬
ᶢǂ
Encoding
Kirshenbaum J!
Main article: Palatal clicks

The voiced palatal click is a click consonant found among the languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ǂ̬ or ᶢǂ. (Variations of the latter include ɡǂ and ǂɡ.)

Features[edit]

Features of the voiced palatal 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 palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to the hard palate.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. However, in some languages, such as 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 central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.

Occurrence[edit]

Voiced palatal clicks are only found in the various Khoisan language families of southern Africa and in the neighboring Yeyi language.

Language Word IPA Meaning
Naro dtcòo tcgáí
(òo çgáí)
[ᶢǂòː ǂχáí] = [ǂ̬òː ǂχáí] torch (flashlight)
Yeyi uoara [uᶢǂo̯aɾa] = [uǂ̬o̯aɾa] chameleon

Notes[edit]