Palatal Clicks

Palatal Clicks

The palatal or palato-alveolar clicks are a family of click consonants found only in Africa. The tongue makes an extremely broad contact across the roof of the mouth, making a determination of their place of articulation difficult, but Ladefoged & Traill (1984:18) find that the primary place of articulation is the palate, and say that "there is no doubt that should be described as a palatal sound".

The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the place of articulation of these sounds is ⟨ǂ⟩, a double-barred pipe. An older variant, the double-barred esh, ⟨ ʄ ⟩, is sometimes seen. This may be combined with a second letter or a diacritic to indicate the manner of articulation, though this is commonly omitted for tenuis clicks:

In the orthographies of individual languages, palatal clicks may be written either with digraphs based on the pipe letter of the IPA, or using the Latin alphabet. Nama and most Saan languages use the former. Conventions for the latter include multigraphs based on ⟨ç⟩ in Juǀʼhoansi (1987 orthography) and originally in Naro, the latter since changed to ⟨tc⟩, and on ⟨qc⟩. In the 19th century, ⟨v⟩ was sometimes used (see click letters); this might be the source of the Doke letter for the voiceless palatal click, ⟨ↆ⟩, apparently a v over-struck with a pipe.

IPA I IPA II Description
⟨ǂ⟩ tenuis palatal click
⟨ǂʰ⟩ aspirated palatal click
⟨ǂ̬⟩ ⟨ᶢǂ⟩ voiced palatal click
⟨ǂ̃⟩ ⟨ᵑǂ⟩ palatal nasal click
⟨ǂ̥̃ʰ⟩ ⟨ᵑ̊ǂʰ⟩ aspirated palatal nasal click
⟨ǂ̃ˀ⟩ ⟨ᵑǂˀ⟩ glottalized palatal nasal click

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

Read more about Palatal Clicks:  Features, Occurrence, Domed Palatal Clicks

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

Domed Palatal Clicks
... Fricated alveolar click ǃ͡s ǂᶴ Ekoka !Xung has a series of domed postalveolar-to-palatal clicks with a noisy, fricated release which derive historically from more prototypical palatal ... Unlike regular alveolar or palatal clicks, which have a sharp, abrupt release, these have a slow, turbulent anterior release that sounds much like a short inhaled ... Like the palatal clicks they derive from, they do not have the retracted tongue root and back-vowel constraint typical of alveolar clicks ...