----- Original Message -----
From: "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...>
To: <phoNet@egroups.com>
> ‘As a class clicks are probably the most salient
>consonants found in a human language. They are easier
>to identify than non-click consonants, and are
>virtually never confused with non-click consonants’
>(LM: p.250). In other words, clicks are PERCEPTUALLY
>OPTIMAL consonants, in which phonetic enhancement
>is pushed to the extreme.

_This_ is interesting.

>There are some really hair-raising combinations of
>elements making up a click accompaniment, as in
>Zhul’hōasi gk!ˣˀàrú ‘leopard’ which features a
>prevoiced affricated glottalised alveolar click

o_O !! Does that _sound_ as complicated as it is to explain?

>There are more than 100 known ways of beginning
>a word with a click, so the size of Khoisan
>click-phoneme systems ranges from 20 (Nama)
>to as many as 83 (!Xóõ). In the latter language
>about 70% of words begin with a click (it’s worth
>noting that with the exception of Sandawe and Hadza
>click languages permit ONLY word-initial clicks).

Ah, I didn't know this.

> The very phonetic salience of clicks guarantees
>their relative stability in a language that has
>acquired them, although the stop-like alveolar
>and palatal clicks are known to be replaced with
>velar and palatal consonants respectively in some
>Khoisan languages.


>The fact that different though genetically related
>click languages have different click inventories
>is sufficient proof that at least some features of
>clicks do change historically. It seems to me that
>while the general character of a click (as
>represented by the velaric airstream mechanism) doesn’t
>change easily, the secondary features of the accompaniment
>(voice, glottalisation, aspiration, affrication, etc.)
>are quite prone to mutation. There is also some room
>for modification as regards the point of articulation
>of either closure: for example, an alveolar click
>may shift towards a palatal articulation, and a
>velar accompaniment may be retracted and become uvular.

Well! That does help some.

> I’d love to be able to show some actual examples
>of historical sound change involving clicks, but I’ve
>found none so far in my reference books. If I come
>across any nice reconstructions, I’ll share them with

I expect there's not much known about "clickogenesis" then, eh?
Great information though.
Thanks, and keep up the great work!


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