Voiced palatal click

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Voiced palatal velar click
ɡ͡ǂ   ɡ͡𝼋
ᶢǂ   ᶢ𝼋
ǂ̬   𝼋̬
Voiced palatal uvular click
ɢ͡ǂ   ɢ͡𝼋
𐞒ǂ   𐞒𝼋

The voiced palatal click is a click consonant found among the languages of southern Africa.[1] The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet for a voiced palatal click with a velar rear articulation is ɡ͡ǂ or ɡ͜ǂ, commonly abbreviated to ɡǂ, ᶢǂ or ǂ̬. Linguists who prefer the old IPA letters use the analogous Beach convention[2] of ɡ͡𝼋 or ɡ͜𝼋, abbreviated ɡ𝼋, ᶢ𝼋 or 𝼋̬. For a click with a uvular rear articulation, the equivalents are ɢ͡ǂ, ɢ͜ǂ, ɢǂ, 𐞒ǂ and ɢ͡𝼋, ɢ͜𝼋, ɢ𝼋, 𐞒𝼋. Sometimes the accompanying letter comes after the click letter, e.g. ǂɡ or ǂᶢ; this may be a simple orthographic choice, or it may imply a difference in the relative timing of the releases.[3]


Features of the voiced palatal click:

  • 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 place of articulation is palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to the hard palate.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • 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.


Voiced palatal clicks are only found in the various Khoisan language families of southern Africa and in the neighboring Yeyi language.

Language Word IPA Meaning
Naro dtcòo tcgáí
(òo çgáí)
[ᶢǂòː ǂχáí] = [ǂ̬òː ǂχáí] 'torch'
Yeyi uoara [uᶢǂo̯aɾa] = [uǂ̬o̯aɾa] 'chameleon'


  1. ^ Ladefoged, Peter; Traill, Anthony (1994-01-01). "Clicks and their accompaniments". Journal of Phonetics. 22 (1): 33–64. doi:10.1016/S0095-4470(19)30266-9. ISSN 0095-4470.
  2. ^ Beach, Douglas Martyn (1938). The phonetics of the Hottentot language. London: W. Heffer & Sons.
  3. ^ Afrika und Übersee. D. Reimer. 2005. pp. 93–94.