Voiceless uvular implosive

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Voiceless uvular implosive

A voiceless uvular implosive is a rare consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʛ̥  or qʼ↓. A dedicated IPA letter, ʠ, was withdrawn in 1993.


  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Since the consonant is also oral, with no nasal outlet, the airflow is blocked entirely, and the consonant is a plosive.
  • Its place of articulation is uvular, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the uvula.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
  • 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.
  • The airstream mechanism is implosive (glottalic ingressive), which means it is produced by pulling air in by pumping the glottis downward. As it is voiceless, the glottis is completely closed, and there is no pulmonic airstream at all.


A voiceless uvular implosive has been claimed for several Mayan languages.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Kaqchikel[1] ijobʼäl [ʛ̥iχoˈɓəɬ] 'watch, clock' In word final position, [ʛ̥] is in free variation with [qʼ]; elsewhere only [ʛ̥] appears. See Kaqchikel language.
Mam[2] ootj [ʛ̥oːtʰχ] 'dough'
Uspantek[3] jq’aab [χʛ̥aːpˀ] 'his/her hand' [ʛ̥] is in free variation with [qˀ] in all positions.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Patal Majzul et al., 2000, pp. 24ff.
  2. ^ England, Nora C. (1983). A grammar of Mam, a Mayan language. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292729278. OCLC 748935484.
  3. ^ Bennett, Ryan; Harvey, Meg; Henderson, Robert; Méndez López, Tomás Alberto (September 2022). "The phonetics and phonology of Uspanteko (Mayan)". Language and Linguistics Compass. 16 (9). doi:10.1111/lnc3.12467. ISSN 1749-818X.

External links[edit]