The voiceless or more precisely tenuis lateral click is a click consonant found primarily among the languages of southern Africa.
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for a tenuis lateral click with a velar rear articulation is ⟨k͡ǁ⟩ or ⟨k͜ǁ⟩, commonly abbreviated to ⟨kǁ⟩, ⟨ᵏǁ⟩ or just ⟨ǁ⟩; a symbol abandoned by the IPA but still preferred by some linguists is ⟨k͡ʖ⟩ or ⟨k͜ʖ⟩, abbreviated ⟨kʖ⟩, ⟨ᵏʖ⟩ or just ⟨ʖ⟩. For a click with a uvular rear articulation, the equivalents are ⟨q͡ǁ, q͜ǁ, qǁ, ǁ⟩ and ⟨q͡ʖ, q͜ʖ, qʖ, ʖ⟩.
Sometimes the accompanying letter comes after the click letter, e.g. ⟨ǁk⟩ or ⟨ǁᵏ⟩; this may be a simple orthographic choice, or it may imply a difference in the relative timing of the releases.
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 voiceless, unaspirated, and unglottalized, which means it is produced without vibration or constriction of the vocal cords, and any following vowel starts without significant delay.
It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
It is a lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.