Unicode uses the obsolete descriptions of "retroflex click" for the alveolar-click character ⟨ǃ⟩ and "alveolar click" for the palatal-click character ⟨ǂ⟩.
For other uses of "!
", see ! . (disambiguation)
|Voiced alveolar click|
|Alveolar nasal click|
The tongue is more or less concave (depending on the language), and is pulled down rather than back as in the palatal clicks, making a hollower sound than those consonants.
Prior to 1989, ⟨ʗ⟩ (stretched c) was the IPA letter for the alveolar clicks, and this is still preferred by some phoneticians.
The tail of ⟨ʗ⟩ may be the tail of retroflex consonants in the IPA, and thus analogous to the underdot of ⟨ǃ⟩.
Common alveolar clicks are:
|Trans. I||Trans. II||Trans. III||Description|
|⟨k͜ǃ⟩||⟨ᵏǃ⟩||⟨ǃ⟩||tenuis alveolar click|
|⟨k͜ǃʰ⟩||⟨ᵏǃʰ⟩||⟨ǃʰ⟩||aspirated alveolar click|
|⟨ɡ͜ǃ⟩||⟨ᶢǃ⟩||⟨ǃ̬⟩||voiced alveolar click|
|⟨ŋ͜ǃ⟩||⟨ᵑǃ⟩||⟨ǃ̃⟩||alveolar nasal click|
|⟨ŋ͜ǃ̥ʰ⟩||⟨ᵑǃ̥ʰ⟩||⟨ǃ̥̃ʰ⟩||aspirated alveolar nasal click|
|⟨ŋ͜ǃˀ⟩||⟨ᵑǃˀ⟩||⟨ǃ̃ˀ⟩||glottalized alveolar nasal click|
|⟨q͜ǃ⟩||⟨ǃ⟩||tenuis alveolar click|
|⟨q͜ǃʰ⟩||⟨ǃʰ⟩||aspirated alveolar click|
|⟨ɢ͜ǃ⟩||⟨ǃ⟩||voiced alveolar click|
|⟨ɴ͜ǃ⟩||⟨ᶰǃ⟩||alveolar nasal click|
|⟨ɴ͜ǃ̥ʰ⟩||⟨ᶰǃ̥ʰ⟩||aspirated alveolar nasal click|
|⟨ɴ͜ǃˀ⟩||⟨ᶰǃˀ⟩||glottalized alveolar nasal click|
The last can be heard in the sound sample at right; non-native speakers tend to glottalize clicks to avoid nasalizing them.
The nasal click may also be heard at the right.
In the orthographies of individual languages, the letters and digraphs for alveolar clicks may be based on either the vertical bar symbol of the IPA, ⟨ǃ⟩, or on the Latin ⟨q⟩ of Bantu convention.
Features of postalveolar clicks:
- The basic articulation may be voiced, nasal, aspirated, glottalized, etc.
- The forward place of articulation is alveolar or postalveolar, depending on the language, and apical, which means it is articulated with the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge or the roof of the mouth behind the alveolar ridge. (Damin contrasted these two articulations as separate phonemes.) The release is a sharp, plosive sound in southern Africa, but in Sandawe it may be percussive, with the underside of the tip of the tongue striking the floor of the mouth after the release of the click (see below), and in Hadza the release is often quite weak.
- Clicks may be oral or nasal, which means that the airflow is either restricted to the mouth, or passes through the nose as well.
- They are central consonants, which means they are produced by releasing the airstream at the center of the tongue, rather than at the sides.
- 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.
|Percussive alveolar click
In Sandawe, alveolar clicks commonly have a ballistic release, with the underside of the tip of the tongue subsequently striking the floor of the mouth.
This allophone has been called "flapped" and "slapped".
Sometimes the percussive slap is louder than the release, resulting in a sound that has been characterized as a "cluck".
The percussive allophones of the five Sandawe alveolar clicks are [ǃ͡¡, ǃ͡¡ʰ, ᶢǃ͡¡, ᵑǃ͡¡, ᵑǃ͡¡ˀ] (or [ʗꜞ ʗꜞʰ ʗ̬ꜞ ʗ̃ꜞ ʗ̃ꜞˀ]).
Nasal clicks that fit this description are used by speakers of Gan Chinese (from Ningdu county) and of Mandarin (from Beijing and Jilin), and presumably people from other parts of the country, with varying degrees of competence in nursery rhymes for the words for 'goose' and 'duck', both of which begin with /ŋ/ in Gan and until recently began with /ŋ/ in Mandarin as well.
In Gan, the nursery rhyme is (disregarding tone),
- tʰien i tsʰak ᵑǃ͡¡o 'a goose in the sky'
- ti ha i tsʰak ᵑǃ͡¡a 'a duck on the ground'
- ᵑǃ͡¡o saŋ ᵑǃ͡¡o tʰan, ᵑǃ͡¡o pʰau ᵑǃ͡¡o 'a goose lays a goose egg, a goose hatches a goose'
- ᵑǃ͡¡a saŋ ᵑǃ͡¡a tʰan, ᵑǃ͡¡a pʰau ᵑǃ͡¡a 'a duck lays a duck egg, a duck hatches a duck'
where the /ŋ/ onsets are all pronounced [ǃ̃¡].
"Fricated" alveolar clicks
Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alveolar click.