Lateral Clicks

The lateral clicks are a family of click consonants found only in African languages. The clicking sound used by equestrians to urge on their horses is a lateral click, although it is not a speech sound in that context. Alveolar lateral clicks are found throughout southern Africa and in two languages in Tanzania.

The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the place of articulation of these sounds is ⟨ǁ⟩, a double pipe. Prior to 1989, ⟨ʖ⟩ was the IPA letter for the lateral clicks, and this is still preferred by some phoneticians, as the pipe may be confounded with prosody marks and, in some fonts, with a double el. 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. Common alveolar lateral clicks are:

IPA I IPA II Description
⟨ǁ⟩ ⟨ʖ⟩ tenuis alveolar lateral click
⟨ǁʰ⟩ ⟨ʖʰ⟩ aspirated alveolar lateral click
⟨ǁ̬⟩ ⟨ʖ̬⟩ ⟨ᶢǁ⟩ ⟨ᶢʖ⟩ voiced alveolar lateral click
⟨ǁ̃⟩ ⟨ʖ̃⟩ ⟨ᵑǁ⟩ ⟨ᵑʖ⟩ alveolar lateral nasal click
⟨ǁ̥̃ʰ⟩ ⟨ʖ̥̃ʰ⟩ ⟨ᵑ̊ǁʰ⟩ ⟨ᵑ̊ʖʰ⟩ aspirated alveolar lateral nasal click
⟨ǁ̃ˀ⟩ ⟨ʖ̃ˀ⟩ ⟨ᵑǁˀ⟩ ⟨ᵑʖˀ⟩ glottalized alveolar lateral nasal click

The last is what is heard in the sound sample above, as non-native speakers tend to glottalize clicks to avoid nasalizing them.

In the orthographies of individual languages, the letters and digraphs for lateral clicks may be based on either the pipe symbol of the IPA, ⟨ǁ⟩, or on the Latin ⟨x⟩ of Bantu convention. Nama and most Saan languages use the former; Naro, Sandawe, and Zulu use the latter.

Read more about Lateral Clicks:  Features, Occurrence

Other articles related to "lateral clicks, lateral click, click":

Lateral Clicks - Occurrence
... English does not have a lateral click (or any click consonant, for that matter) as a phoneme, but a plain alveolar lateral click does occur as an interjection, usually ... isiXhosa = 'Xhosa language' Contrasts tenuis, murmured, aspirated, and nasal lateral clicks ...