Tenuis palatal click

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(Tenuis) palatal click
ǂ
ʄ
IPA number 179
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ǂ
Unicode (hex) U+01C2
Kirshenbaum c![1]
Sound

The voiceless or more precisely tenuis palatal click is a click consonant found primarily among the languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ǂ (double-barred pipe). A stylistic variant sometimes seen is ʄ (double-barred esh).

Features[edit]

Features of the tenuis palatal 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 palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to the hard palate.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Occurrence[edit]

Tenuis palatal clicks are only found in the various Khoisan language families of southern Africa and in the neighboring Yeyi language.

Language Word IPA Meaning
ǂHaba ǂHaba [ǂʰabá] = [ʄʰabá] (endonym)
Khoekhoe ǂgā-amǃnâ [ǂààʔám̀ᵑǃã̀ã̀] = [ʄààʔám̀ʗ̃ã̀ã̀] to put in the mouth
Naro Qhomatcã
(Qhomaçã)
[ǃʰomaǂã] = [ʗʰomaʄã] (personal name)
Yeyi shiǂa [ʃiǂa] = [ʃiʄa] scarification

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Kirshembaum assigns c! indifferently to both palatal and alveolar clicks.