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Psa:x mwba:r@x!

FFlores wrote:

>I'm having trouble feeling sure about the names I've
>given to some sounds in my latest lang, Xkanxey
>(<x> = /s./, retroflex "s"). I have two sounds that
>seem to be clicks, which I transliterate <c> and <f!>.
>
><c> is produced by placing the tip of the tongue against
>the (post)alveolar zone, then rarifying the air behind it
>so that it "pulls" the tongue backwards, and then releasing
>it. I'm quite sure this is a click. Am I right?

Yes it is, it's a palatal click.  The IPA symbol is /!/ (I think).

The other major clicks are: dental /|/, alveolar /#/, and lateral /||/.
Clicks are pretty much confined to the Khoisan and Southern Bantu
languages, but one Australian language has a few clicks.

><f!> is produced in a similar way, but with the upper
>teeth placed in the inner side of the lower lip. When
>the lip and the teeth split apart, there's something
>I'd call a click, but also a kind of sibilant sound,
>like a buzz. I called this a labiodental click. Is it
>correct? Does such a sound even exist in any natlang?

None that I can think of right now, but that is definitely a labiovelar
click, or at least an ingressive fricative.  You can also have a
bilabial click, which is more like a 'pop'.  (In this case the
velar/uvular articulation is irrelevant.)

I wonder what IPA symbol would accurately describe a labiovelar click,
but the <f!> is a good idea for now, at least in ASCII representation.
I often use the exclamation point as a global click marker for personal
transcription, so dental is /t!/, palatal is /c!/, lateral /l!/.  Don't
forget you can have voiced clicks (there's an 'ng' sound running through
the click, ejective clicks, aspirate clicks and sibilantized clicks if
you want to go further with clicks...)

A *real* good example of a language that uses many clicks is the Khoisan
language !Xu~, which has a total of 141 consonants, clicks and
non-clicks together.  It, I believe, holds the world record.

Danny
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