Uvular ejective affricate

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Voiceless uvular ejective affricate
Audio sample

The uvular ejective affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is q͡χʼ. It is found in some North American languages of the Pacific Northwest such as Wintu and Lillooet, southern African languages such as Gǀui and ǂʼAmkoe, and in many of the languages of the Caucasus, especially a number of the Daghestanian languages, though in none of these is there a phonemic distinction between /qχʼ/ and /qʼ/, and in many [qχʼ] and [qʼ] are allophones. A number of languages of southern Africa have a sound, commonly transcribed [kχʼ], that may be ambiguous between velar and uvular.


Features of the uvular ejective affricate:

  • Its manner of articulation is affricate, which means it is produced by first stopping the airflow entirely, then allowing air flow through a constricted channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is uvular, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the uvula.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • The airstream mechanism is ejective (glottalic egressive), which means the air is forced out by pumping the glottis upward.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Lilooet q̓əs [q͡χʼəs] 'curly'
Georgian[1] ყოფა/q'opa [q͡χʼɔpʰɑ] 'being/existence' An allophone of /qʼ/, in free variation with [qʼ], [ʔ], or [χʼ].[1]

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  1. ^ a b Shosted, Ryan K.; Chikovani, Vakhtang (2006). "Standard Georgian" (PDF). Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 36 (2): 255–264. doi:10.1017/S0025100306002659. ISSN 1475-3502.

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