Tenuis bilabial click

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(Tenuis) bilabial click
IPA number 176
Entity (decimal) ʘ
Unicode (hex) U+0298
Kirshenbaum p!
Main article: Bilabial clicks

The voiceless or more precisely tenuis bilabial click is a click consonant found in some of the languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʘ. A second convention, now obsolete, was ɋ .[citation needed]


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 only occur in the Tuu and Kx'a families of southern Africa.

Language Word IPA Meaning
ǂHoan [ʘoa] 'two'
Taa [ʘàa] 'child'