Alveolar click

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Not to be confused with the retroflex clicks or palatal clicks. Alveolar click_sentence_0

Unicode uses the obsolete descriptions of "retroflex click" for the alveolar-click character ⟨ǃ⟩ and "alveolar click" for the palatal-click character ⟨ǂ⟩. Alveolar click_sentence_1

For other uses of "! Alveolar click_sentence_2

", see ! Alveolar click_sentence_3 (disambiguation). Alveolar click_sentence_4

Alveolar click_table_infobox_0

Voiced alveolar clickAlveolar click_header_cell_0_0_0
ɡ͜ǃAlveolar click_header_cell_0_1_0
ᶢǃAlveolar click_header_cell_0_2_0
ǃ̬Alveolar click_header_cell_0_3_0
ɡ͜ʗAlveolar click_header_cell_0_4_0
ᶢʗAlveolar click_header_cell_0_5_0
ʗ̬Alveolar click_header_cell_0_6_0

Alveolar click_table_infobox_1

Alveolar nasal clickAlveolar click_header_cell_1_0_0
ŋ͜ǃAlveolar click_header_cell_1_1_0
ᵑǃAlveolar click_header_cell_1_2_0
ǃ̃Alveolar click_header_cell_1_3_0
ŋ͜ʗAlveolar click_header_cell_1_4_0
ᵑʗAlveolar click_header_cell_1_5_0
ʗ̃Alveolar click_header_cell_1_6_0
Audio sampleAlveolar click_header_cell_1_7_0

The alveolar or postalveolar clicks are a family of click consonants found only in Africa and in the Damin ritual jargon of Australia. Alveolar click_sentence_5

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. Alveolar click_sentence_6

The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the place of articulation of these sounds is ⟨ǃ⟩. Alveolar click_sentence_7

The symbol is not an exclamation mark in origin, but rather a vertical bar with a subscript dot, the dot being the old diacritic for retroflex consonants. Alveolar click_sentence_8

Prior to 1989, ⟨ʗ⟩ (stretched c) was the IPA letter for the alveolar clicks, and this is still preferred by some phoneticians. Alveolar click_sentence_9

The tail of ⟨ʗ⟩ may be the tail of retroflex consonants in the IPA, and thus analogous to the underdot of ⟨ǃ⟩. Alveolar click_sentence_10

Either letter may be combined with a second letter to indicate the manner of articulation, though this is commonly omitted for tenuis clicks, and increasingly a diacritic is used instead. Alveolar click_sentence_11

Common alveolar clicks are: Alveolar click_sentence_12

Alveolar click_table_general_2

Trans. IAlveolar click_header_cell_2_0_0 Trans. IIAlveolar click_header_cell_2_0_1 Trans. IIIAlveolar click_header_cell_2_0_2 DescriptionAlveolar click_header_cell_2_0_3
(velar)Alveolar click_header_cell_2_1_0
⟨k͜ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_2_0 ⟨ᵏǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_2_1 ⟨ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_2_2 tenuis alveolar clickAlveolar click_cell_2_2_3
⟨k͜ǃʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_3_0 ⟨ᵏǃʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_3_1 ⟨ǃʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_3_2 aspirated alveolar clickAlveolar click_cell_2_3_3
⟨ɡ͜ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_4_0 ⟨ᶢǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_4_1 ⟨ǃ̬⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_4_2 voiced alveolar clickAlveolar click_cell_2_4_3
⟨ŋ͜ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_5_0 ⟨ᵑǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_5_1 ⟨ǃ̃⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_5_2 alveolar nasal clickAlveolar click_cell_2_5_3
⟨ŋ͜ǃ̥ʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_6_0 ⟨ᵑǃ̥ʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_6_1 ⟨ǃ̥̃ʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_6_2 aspirated alveolar nasal clickAlveolar click_cell_2_6_3
⟨ŋ͜ǃˀ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_7_0 ⟨ᵑǃˀ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_7_1 ⟨ǃ̃ˀ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_7_2 glottalized alveolar nasal clickAlveolar click_cell_2_7_3
(uvular)Alveolar click_header_cell_2_8_0
⟨q͜ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_9_0 ⟨ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_9_1 Alveolar click_cell_2_9_2 tenuis alveolar clickAlveolar click_cell_2_9_3
⟨q͜ǃʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_10_0 ⟨ǃʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_10_1 Alveolar click_cell_2_10_2 aspirated alveolar clickAlveolar click_cell_2_10_3
⟨ɢ͜ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_11_0 ⟨ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_11_1 Alveolar click_cell_2_11_2 voiced alveolar clickAlveolar click_cell_2_11_3
⟨ɴ͜ǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_12_0 ⟨ᶰǃ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_12_1 Alveolar click_cell_2_12_2 alveolar nasal clickAlveolar click_cell_2_12_3
⟨ɴ͜ǃ̥ʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_13_0 ⟨ᶰǃ̥ʰ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_13_1 Alveolar click_cell_2_13_2 aspirated alveolar nasal clickAlveolar click_cell_2_13_3
⟨ɴ͜ǃˀ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_14_0 ⟨ᶰǃˀ⟩Alveolar click_cell_2_14_1 Alveolar click_cell_2_14_2 glottalized alveolar nasal clickAlveolar click_cell_2_14_3

The last can be heard in the sound sample at right; non-native speakers tend to glottalize clicks to avoid nasalizing them. Alveolar click_sentence_13

The nasal click may also be heard at the right. Alveolar click_sentence_14

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. Alveolar click_sentence_15

Nama and most Saan languages use the former; Naro, Sandawe, and Zulu use the latter. Alveolar click_sentence_16

Features Alveolar click_section_0

Features of postalveolar clicks: Alveolar click_sentence_17

Alveolar click_unordered_list_0

  • The basic articulation may be voiced, nasal, aspirated, glottalized, etc.Alveolar click_item_0_0
  • 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.Alveolar click_item_0_1
  • Clicks may be oral or nasal, which means that the airflow is either restricted to the mouth, or passes through the nose as well.Alveolar click_item_0_2
  • They are central consonants, which means they are produced by releasing the airstream at the center of the tongue, rather than at the sides.Alveolar click_item_0_3
  • 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.Alveolar click_item_0_4

Occurrence Alveolar click_section_1

English does not have an alveolar click (or any click consonant, for that matter) as a phoneme, but a plain alveolar click does occur in mimesis, as a sound children use to imitate a horse trotting. Alveolar click_sentence_18

Percussive release Alveolar click_section_2

Alveolar click_table_infobox_3

Percussive alveolar click

(plain)Alveolar click_header_cell_3_0_0

ǃ͡¡Alveolar click_header_cell_3_1_0
ʗꜞAlveolar click_header_cell_3_2_0

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. Alveolar click_sentence_19

This allophone has been called "flapped" and "slapped". Alveolar click_sentence_20

Sometimes the percussive slap is louder than the release, resulting in a sound that has been characterized as a "cluck". Alveolar click_sentence_21

The symbol for the sublingual percussive component is ⟨¡⟩ in the extensions to the IPA; a slapped click is therefore transcribed ⟨ǃ͡¡⟩ or ⟨ǃꜞ⟩ (or ⟨ʗ͡¡, ʗꜞ⟩). Alveolar click_sentence_22

The percussive allophones of the five Sandawe alveolar clicks are [ǃ͡¡, ǃ͡¡ʰ, ᶢǃ͡¡, ᵑǃ͡¡, ᵑǃ͡¡ˀ] (or [ʗꜞ ʗꜞʰ ʗ̬ꜞ ʗ̃ꜞ ʗ̃ꜞˀ]). Alveolar click_sentence_23

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. Alveolar click_sentence_24

In Gan, the nursery rhyme is (disregarding tone), Alveolar click_sentence_25

Alveolar click_description_list_1

  • tʰien i tsʰak ᵑǃ͡¡o 'a goose in the sky'Alveolar click_item_1_5
  • ti ha i tsʰak ᵑǃ͡¡a 'a duck on the ground'Alveolar click_item_1_6
  • ᵑǃ͡¡o saŋ ᵑǃ͡¡o tʰan, ᵑǃ͡¡o pʰau ᵑǃ͡¡o 'a goose lays a goose egg, a goose hatches a goose'Alveolar click_item_1_7
  • ᵑǃ͡¡a saŋ ᵑǃ͡¡a tʰan, ᵑǃ͡¡a pʰau ᵑǃ͡¡a 'a duck lays a duck egg, a duck hatches a duck'Alveolar click_item_1_8

where the /ŋ/ onsets are all pronounced [ǃ̃¡]. Alveolar click_sentence_26

"Fricated" alveolar clicks Alveolar click_section_3

A series of clicks in Ekoka !Kung have been variously described as retroflex or fricated palatal clicks. Alveolar click_sentence_27

See also Alveolar click_section_4

Alveolar click_unordered_list_2


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alveolar click.