Retroflex click

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Retroflex click_table_infobox_0

Retroflex click

(plain velar)Retroflex click_header_cell_0_0_0

k͡‼Retroflex click_header_cell_0_1_0
Retroflex click_header_cell_0_2_0
ᵏǃ̢̢Retroflex click_header_cell_0_3_0

Retroflex click_table_infobox_1

Voiced retroflex clickRetroflex click_header_cell_1_0_0
‼̬Retroflex click_header_cell_1_1_0
ᶢ‼Retroflex click_header_cell_1_2_0

Retroflex click_table_infobox_2

Retroflex nasal clickRetroflex click_header_cell_2_0_0
‼̃Retroflex click_header_cell_2_1_0
ᵑ‼Retroflex click_header_cell_2_2_0

The retroflex clicks are a family of click consonants known only from the Central !Kung dialects of Namibia and (as a voiced nasal click only) the Damin ritual jargon of Australia, though it's not known if the later was phonemically distinct. Retroflex click_sentence_0

They are sub-apical retroflex and should not be confused with the more widespread postalveolar clicks, which are sometimes mistakenly called "retroflex" (for example in Unicode) due to their concave tongue shape. Retroflex click_sentence_1

There is no official symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the forward articulation of these sounds, and the expected symbol ⟨ǃ̢̢⟩ is rarely seen. Retroflex click_sentence_2

In the literature they are typically written with the ad hoc digraph ⟨‼⟩, the convention since Doke identified them as retroflex in 1926. Retroflex click_sentence_3

(Doke's proposed symbol, ⟨ψ⟩, did not catch on, nor did Vedder's and Anders' ⟨⦀⟩. Retroflex click_sentence_4

For a while Amanda Miller, who noted a lateral fricated release (as had Vedder), transcribed them ⟨ǃǁ⟩.) Retroflex click_sentence_5

(For Damin, the retroflex nasal click, which may or may not be similar to the clicks of Central !Kung, was transcribed by Hale & Nash as ⟨rn!⟩.) Retroflex click_sentence_6

Basic retroflex clicks are: Retroflex click_sentence_7

Retroflex click_table_general_3

Trans. IRetroflex click_header_cell_3_0_0 Trans. IIRetroflex click_header_cell_3_0_1 Trans. IIIRetroflex click_header_cell_3_0_2 DescriptionRetroflex click_header_cell_3_0_3
(velar)Retroflex click_header_cell_3_1_0
⟨k͜‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_2_0 ⟨ᵏ‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_2_1 ⟨‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_2_2 tenuis retroflex clickRetroflex click_cell_3_2_3
⟨k͜‼ʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_3_0 ⟨ᵏ‼ʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_3_1 ⟨‼ʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_3_2 aspirated retroflex clickRetroflex click_cell_3_3_3
⟨ɡ͜‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_4_0 ⟨ᶢ‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_4_1 ⟨‼̬⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_4_2 voiced retroflex clickRetroflex click_cell_3_4_3
⟨ŋ͜‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_5_0 ⟨ᵑ‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_5_1 ⟨‼̃⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_5_2 retroflex nasal clickRetroflex click_cell_3_5_3
⟨ŋ͜‼̥ʰʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_6_0 ⟨ᵑ‼̥ʰʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_6_1 ⟨‼̥̃ʰʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_6_2 aspirated retroflex nasal clickRetroflex click_cell_3_6_3
⟨ŋ͜‼ˀ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_7_0 ⟨ᵑ‼ˀ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_7_1 ⟨‼̃ˀ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_7_2 glottalized retroflex nasal clickRetroflex click_cell_3_7_3
(uvular)Retroflex click_header_cell_3_8_0
⟨q͜‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_9_0 ⟨‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_9_1 Retroflex click_cell_3_9_2 tenuis retroflex clickRetroflex click_cell_3_9_3
⟨q͜‼ʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_10_0 ⟨‼ʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_10_1 Retroflex click_cell_3_10_2 aspirated retroflex clickRetroflex click_cell_3_10_3
⟨ɢ͜‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_11_0 ⟨‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_11_1 Retroflex click_cell_3_11_2 voiced retroflex clickRetroflex click_cell_3_11_3
⟨ɴ͜‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_12_0 ⟨ᶰ‼⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_12_1 Retroflex click_cell_3_12_2 retroflex nasal clickRetroflex click_cell_3_12_3
⟨ɴ͜‼̥ʰʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_13_0 ⟨ᶰ‼̥ʰʰ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_13_1 Retroflex click_cell_3_13_2 aspirated retroflex nasal clickRetroflex click_cell_3_13_3
⟨ɴ͜‼ˀ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_14_0 ⟨ᶰ‼ˀ⟩Retroflex click_cell_3_14_1 Retroflex click_cell_3_14_2 glottalized retroflex nasal clickRetroflex click_cell_3_14_3

Features Retroflex click_section_0

Features of postalveolar clicks: Retroflex click_sentence_8

Retroflex click_unordered_list_0

  • The basic articulation may be voiced, nasal, aspirated, glottalized, etc.Retroflex click_item_0_0
  • The place of articulation is post-alveolar, and the tongue shape may be subapical, which means it is articulated with the tip of the tongue curled up. The center of the tongue moves downward to create suction.Retroflex 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.Retroflex click_item_0_2
  • It is a lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.Retroflex 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.Retroflex click_item_0_4

Occurrence Retroflex click_section_1

As with other click articulations, retroflex clicks may be produced with various manners. Retroflex click_sentence_9

An example is the voiced retroflex click in the Grootfontein !Kung (Central Juu) word for 'water', /‼̬ˡú/ (g‼ú). Retroflex click_sentence_10

Damin is the only other language known to have had such a sound, though only the nasal click occurred. Retroflex click_sentence_11

A retroflex series claimed for Ekoka !Kung turns out to be domed palatal clicks. Retroflex click_sentence_12

See also Retroflex click_section_2

Retroflex click_unordered_list_1


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