Voiced lateral click

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Voiced lateral velar click
ɡ͡ǁ   ɡ͡ʖ
ᶢǁ   ᶢʖ
ǁ̬   ʖ̬
Voiced lateral uvular click
ɢ͡ǁ   ɢ͡ʖ
𐞒ǁ   𐞒ʖ

The voiced lateral click is a click consonant found primarily among the languages of southern Africa.[1] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for a voiced lateral click with a velar rear articulation is ɡ͡ǁ or ɡ͜ǁ, commonly abbreviated to ɡǁ, ᶢǁ or ǁ̬; a symbol abandoned by the IPA but still preferred by some linguists is ɡ͡ʖ or ɡ͜ʖ, abbreviated ɡʖ, ᶢʖ or ʖ̬. For a click with a uvular rear articulation, the equivalents are ɢ͡ǁ, ɢ͜ǁ, ɢǁ, 𐞒ǁ and ɢ͡ʖ, ɢ͜ʖ, ɢʖ, 𐞒ʖ. Sometimes the accompanying letter comes after the click letter, e.g. ǁɡ or ǁᶢ; 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 ⟨gx⟩, but it is written ⟨dx⟩ in those languages that use ⟨g⟩ for the uvular fricative.


Features of the voiced 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 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 lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.


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 [ɡ͜ǁàí k͜ǀχàː] = [ᶢʖàí ᵏʇχàː] 'cheek muscle'
Sandawe gxõgxe [ɡ͜ǁṍːɡ͜ǁê] = [ᶢʖṍːᶢʖê] 'male greater kudu'
Yeyi muawa [muɡ͜ǁawa] = [muᶢʖawa] 'arrow'


  1. ^ Ladefoged, Peter; Traill, Anthony (1994-01-01). "Clicks and their accompaniments". Journal of Phonetics. 22 (1): 33–64. doi:10.1016/S0095-4470(19)30266-9. ISSN 0095-4470.
  2. ^ Afrika und Übersee. D. Reimer. 2005. pp. 93–94.