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Tenuis bilabial click

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Tenuis bilabial velar click
IPA Number176
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ʘ
Unicode (hex)U+0298
Braille⠯ (braille pattern dots-12346)⠏ (braille pattern dots-1234)
Tenuis bilabial uvular click

The voiceless or more precisely tenuis bilabial click is a click consonant found in some languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for a tenuis bilabial click with a velar rear articulation is ⟨k͡ʘ⟩ or ⟨k͜ʘ⟩, commonly abbreviated to ⟨⟩, ⟨ᵏʘ⟩ or just ⟨ʘ⟩. For a click with a uvular rear articulation, the equivalents are ⟨q͡ʘ, q͜ʘ, qʘ, 𐞥ʘ⟩. Sometimes the accompanying letter comes after the click letter, e.g. ⟨ʘk⟩ or ⟨ʘᵏ⟩; this may be a simple orthographic choice, or it may imply a difference in the relative timing of the releases.[1]


Features of the tenuis bilabial 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 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 centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.


Tenuis bilabial clicks are only known to occur in the Tuu and Kx'a families of southern Africa.

Language Word IPA Meaning
ǂHoan [k͡ʘoa] 'two'
Taa [k͡ʘàa] 'child'


  1. ^ Afrika und Übersee. D. Reimer. 2005. pp. 93–94.