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Clicks (was Re: _Pyroraptor_)



In a message dated Fri, 7 Jul 2000  2:21:20 PM Eastern Daylight Time, 
ELurio@aol.com writes:

<<I thought the click phoneme was spelled "!"

eric l.>>

Khoisan languages (that is, the languages of the peoples sometimes called 
bushmen and Hottentots) have a wide range of click phonemes.

They include bilabial ("kiss") clicks (symbolized phonetically by a small 
target or alchemical sun symbol), dental clicks (|), palatal clicks (symbolized 
by a "does not equal" sign), lateral clicks (//), and alveolar, or retroflex, 
clicks (!).

Any of these may be pronounced with a voiced, voiceles, aspirated, glottalized, 
or nasal release and with or without lip rounding.  Thus, the total click 
inventory in some languages is quite large.

Three relatively simple click sounds (a dental, a palatal, and a lateral) were 
borrowed into southern Bantu languages, including Zulu and Xhosa, where they 
are written with the letters "c", "q", and "x" in the standard orthography.

Nick P.