Nasal click

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Nasal click_table_infobox_0

Voiced alveolar nasal clickNasal click_header_cell_0_0_0
ŋ͡ǃNasal click_header_cell_0_1_0
ᵑǃNasal click_header_cell_0_2_0
Audio sampleNasal click_header_cell_0_3_0

Nasal click_table_infobox_1

Aspirated dental nasal clickNasal click_header_cell_1_0_0
ᵑǀ̥ʰʰNasal click_header_cell_1_1_0

Nasal click_table_infobox_2

Breathy-voiced lateral nasal clickNasal click_header_cell_2_0_0
ᵑǁʱNasal click_header_cell_2_1_0
ᵑ̈ǁNasal click_header_cell_2_2_0

Nasal click_table_infobox_3

Voiceless palatal nasal clickNasal click_header_cell_3_0_0
ᵑ̊ǂNasal click_header_cell_3_1_0

Nasal click_table_infobox_4

Preglottalized labial nasal clickNasal click_header_cell_4_0_0
ˀᵑʘNasal click_header_cell_4_1_0

Nasal clicks are click consonants pronounced with nasal airflow. Nasal click_sentence_0

All click types (alveolar ǃ, dental ǀ, lateral ǁ, palatal ǂ, retroflex ‼, and labial ʘ) have nasal variants, and these are attested in four or five phonations: voiced, voiceless, aspirated, murmured (breathy voiced), and—in the analysis of Miller (2011)—glottalized. Nasal click_sentence_1

Modally voiced nasal clicks are ubiquitous: They are found in every language which has clicks as part of its regular sound inventory. Nasal click_sentence_2

This includes Damin, which has only nasal clicks, and Dahalo, which has only plain and glottalized nasal clicks. Nasal click_sentence_3

They are fully nasalized throughout, like the pulmonic nasal [m] and [n]. Nasal click_sentence_4

That is, you pronounce a uvular ɴ sound (like English ng) with the back of your tongue, and make the click sound in the middle of it using the front of your tongue. Nasal click_sentence_5

They are typically transcribed something like ⟨ᵑǃ⟩; in Khoekhoe, they are written ⟨ǃn ǁn ǀn ǂn⟩, in Juǀʼhõa as ⟨nǃ nǁ nǀ nǂ⟩, and in Zulu, Xhosa, Sandawe, and Naro as ⟨nc nx nq ntc (nç)⟩. Nasal click_sentence_6

Aspirated nasal clicks, often described as voiceless nasal with delayed aspiration, are widespread in southern Africa, being found in all languages of the Khoe, Tuu, and Kx'a language families, though they are unattested elsewhere. Nasal click_sentence_7

They are typically transcribed something like ⟨ᵑ̊ǃʰ⟩; in Khoekhoe, they are written ⟨ǃh ǁh ǀh ǂh⟩, and in Juǀʼhõa as ⟨ǃʼh ǁʼh ǀʼh ǂʼh⟩. Nasal click_sentence_8

Initially and in citation form, words with these consonants are pronounced with voiceless nasal airflow throughout the production of the click and in some languages for an extended time afterward; this period of up to 150 ms (the voice onset time) may include weak breathy-voiced aspiration at the end. Nasal click_sentence_9

However, when embedded in a phrase after a vowel they tend to be partially voiced; the preceding vowel will also be nasalized or the click prenasalized, for a realization of [!˭ʰ] vs [ŋ͡nǃ̬ʱʱ]. Nasal click_sentence_10

They have a tone-depressor effect, so that a level tone on the following vowel will be realized as rising. Nasal click_sentence_11

The description above is typical, characteristic of languages such as Khoekhoe and Gǀui. Nasal click_sentence_12

However, aspirated nasal clicks have a more extreme pronunciation in Taa, where they need to maintain a distinction from both the plain voiceless and breathy-voiced nasal clicks. Nasal click_sentence_13

In this language they are not voiced after vowel sounds except in rapid speech, and in addition do not have nasal airflow; Trail reports that they instead have active ingressive pulmonic airflow (that is, air is breathed in the nose rather than being vented out). Nasal click_sentence_14

Breathy-voiced (murmured) nasal clicks are less common. Nasal click_sentence_15

They are known from !Kung languages such as Juǀʼhoansi, from Taa, and from the Bantu languages Xhosa and Zulu. Nasal click_sentence_16

They are pronounced like modally voiced nasal clicks, but in addition are followed by a period of murmured phonation, and like other breathy-voiced consonants, may have a depressor effect on tone (in Zulu and Xhosa, for example). Nasal click_sentence_17

They are typically transcribed something like ⟨ᵑǃʰ⟩ or ⟨ᵑǃʱ⟩; in Juǀʼhõa, they are written ⟨nǃh nǁh nǀh nǂh⟩, and in Zulu and Xhosa, as ⟨ngc ngx ngq⟩. Nasal click_sentence_18

In IPA, they could be either ⟨ᵑǁʱ⟩ or ⟨ᵑ̈ǁ⟩ Nasal click_sentence_19

Voiceless nasal clicks distinct from voiceless aspirated clicks are only attested from one language, Taa, which changes the voicing of the initial consonant to distinguish singular and plural nouns. Nasal click_sentence_20

In this language, both voiced and voiceless nasal clicks (but not the aspirated and breathy-voiced nasal clicks) nasalize the following vowel; they are largely distinguished by voiceless vs. murmured nasalization leading up to the click release, and the voicelessness occurs even after vowels. Nasal click_sentence_21

Glottalized nasal clicks are extremely common, but are covered in another article: Glottalized clicks. Nasal click_sentence_22

There are also preglottalized nasal clicks. Nasal click_sentence_23

These are pronounced like modally voiced nasal clicks, but the click release is preceded by a short period of nasalization that has a glottal-stop onset. Nasal click_sentence_24

They are considered unitary consonants, and not sequences of glottal stop plus nasal click. Nasal click_sentence_25

They are only reported from a few languages: Taa, Ekoka !Kung, and ǂHoan. Nasal click_sentence_26

(Taa also has preglottalized non-click nasals, though Ekoka apparently does not.) Nasal click_sentence_27

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: click.