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Bilabial clicks

From:Paul Roser <pkroser@...>
Date:Thursday, January 17, 2002, 1:08
--- In conlang@y..., David Peterson <DigitalScream@A...> wrote:
> Also, about clicks. They say, for example, that a bilabial > click is when you make the kissing sound. But what about when you > make a popping sound with both your lips? They're two very > different sounds, yet...represented by the same symbol? The same > goes for the alveolar and post-alveolar clicks.
As others have noted, the bilabial click in Khoisan languages is similar to a kiss, though the lips are not necessarily rounded or protruded. Is the other sound you describe rather like the sound of a cork popping? I find that I produce it with the lips against the teeth and with much greater tension in the lips, so it _might_ be described as a fortis velaric labial stop (fortis = muscular tension, though this is a somewhat nebulous term in phonetics) - not entirely sure if it is velaric ingressive (a click) or velaric egressive, though I'm inclined to think the latter. If it is, then the ad hoc extended IPA symbol for it could be the bullseye (circle with dot in middle), plus an upward pointing arrow, to indicate egressive airstream. IPA also doesn't do a very satisfactory job in distinguishing between alveolar and postalveolar (or retroflex) clicks. Doke had come up with distinct symbols for all three (back in the 40s/50s, don't have the citation handy), but that was before the IPA (unwisely I feel) opted to adopt the Africanist symbols for the clicks. In C. M. Doke's transcription (which didn't include labial clicks) he had distinct symbols for voiceless clicks, voiced clicks & nasal clicks. The dental click was an inverted <t>, alveolar was a downward-pointing arrow, retroflex was Greek <psi>; voiced alveolar & retroflex were inverted symbols, dental was the <gamma> (now = IPA vcd velar fricative); nasal clicks were modified variants of <n>. I think in terms of allowing for possible but as yet undocumented sounds the IPA should have devised a diacritic indicating 'velaric ingressive' (or better, velaric ingressive AND velaric egressive) would have been a better solution, but.... Bfowol


And Rosta <a.rosta@...>