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Voiced alveolar click

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Voiced alveolar velar click
ɡ͡ǃ   ɡ͡ʗ
ᶢǃ   ᶢʗ
ǃ̬   ʗ̬
Voiced alveolar uvular click
ɢ͡ǃ   ɢ͡ʗ
𐞒ǃ   𐞒ʗ

The voiced (post)alveolar click is a click consonant found primarily among the languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for a voiced alveolar click with a velar rear articulation is ⟨ɡ͡ǃ⟩ or ⟨ɡ͜ǃ⟩, commonly abbreviated to ⟨ɡǃ⟩, ⟨ᶢǃ⟩ or ⟨ǃ̬⟩; a symbol abandoned by the IPA but still preferred by some linguists is ⟨ɡ͡ʗ⟩ or ⟨ɡ͜ʗ⟩, abbreviated ⟨ɡʗ⟩, ⟨ᶢʗ⟩ or ⟨ʗ̬⟩. For a click with a uvular rear articulation, the equivalents are ⟨ɢ͡ǃ, ɢ͜ǃ, ɢǃ, 𐞒ǃ⟩ and ⟨ɢ͡ʗ, ɢ͜ʗ, ɢʗ, 𐞒ʗ⟩. Sometimes the accompanying letter comes after the click letter, e.g. ⟨ǃɡ⟩ or ⟨ǃᶢ⟩; this may be a simple orthographic choice, or it may imply a difference in the relative timing of the releases.[2]

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


Features of the voiced (post)alveolar 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.
  • 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.


Voiced alveolar clicks are found primarily in the various Khoisan language families of southern Africa and in some neighboring Bantu languages.[3]

Language Word IPA Meaning
Naro dqòma tcg'òó [ɡ͜ǃòmā k͜ǂqχʼǒː] = [ᶢʗòmā ᵏ𝼋χʼǒː] (place name)
Sandawe gqakina [ɡ͜ǃàkʰíná] = [ᶢʗàkʰíná] 'to carry hidden'
Yeyi kaawa [kaɡ͜ǃawa] = [kaᶢʗawa] 'calabash'


  1. ^ Kirshenbaum assigns ⟨J!⟩ indifferently to both alveolar and palatal clicks.
  2. ^ Afrika und Übersee. D. Reimer. 2005. pp. 93–94.
  3. ^ Bradfield, Julian (May 2014). "Clicks, concurrency and Khoisan*". Phonology. 31 (1): 1–49. doi:10.1017/S0952675714000025. hdl:20.500.11820/63d01bc8-a4db-4cda-a4b4-0ca84d088522. ISSN 0952-6757. S2CID 14896878.