Voiced dental click

The voiced dental click is a click consonant found primarily among the languages of southern Africa. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ǀ̬ or ᶢǀ; a symbol abandoned by the IPA but still preferred by some linguists is ʇ̬ or ᶢʇ.

Voiced dental click
ǀ̬
ᶢǀ
ʇ̬
ᶢʇ

In languages which use the Bantu letters for clicks, this is most commonly written gc, but it is written dc in those languages that use g for the uvular fricative.

Features

Features of the voiced dental click:

  • 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.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • 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.

Occurrence

Voiced dental clicks are found primarily in the various Khoisan language families of southern Africa and in some neighboring Bantu languages.

LanguageWordIPAMeaning
GcirikuDciriku[ᶢǀiriku] = [ʇ̬iriku]'Gciriku'
Sandawegcĩgcoo[ᶢǀĩ̌ːᶢǀóː] = [ʇ̬ĩ̌ːʇ̬óː](species of bird)
Yeyikuawa[kuᶢǀawa] = [kuʇ̬awa]to 'cut grass'

Notes

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