Voiced bilabial click

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Voiced bilabial velar click
Voiced bilabial uvular click

The voiced bilabial click is a click consonant found in some of the languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for a voiced bilabial click with a velar rear articulation is ɡ͡ʘ or ɡ͜ʘ, commonly abbreviated to ɡʘ, ᶢʘ or ʘ̬. For a click with a uvular rear articulation, the equivalents are ɢ͡ʘ, ɢ͜ʘ, ɢʘ, 𐞒ʘ. Sometimes the accompanying letter comes after the click letter, e.g. ʘɡ or ʘᶢ; this may be a simple orthographic choice, or it may imply a difference in the relative timing of the releases.[1]


Features of the voiced 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 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.
  • Because the sound is not produced with airflow over the tongue, the centrallateral dichotomy does not apply.


Voiced bilabial clicks only occur in the Tuu and Kx'a families of southern Africa.[2] These sounds are extremely rare and many non-native speakers find it difficult to pronounce. Thus, these sounds are sometimes transliterated as a "g" and a "G" and are pronounced as Velar and Uvular Plosives.


  1. ^ Afrika und Übersee. D. Reimer. 2005. pp. 93–94.
  2. ^ Exter, Mats (2008-11-19). Properties of the Anterior and Posterior Click Closures in N|uu (text.thesis.doctoral thesis) (in German). Universität zu Köln.