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Velar lateral ejective affricate

Velar lateral ejective affricate
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The velar lateral ejective affricate is a rare type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is kʟ̝̊ʼ.

It is found in two forms in Archi, a Northeast Caucasian language of Dagestan, plain [k͡ʟ̝̊ʼ] and labialized [k͡ʟ̝̊ʷʼ]. It is further forward than velars in most languages, and might better be called prevelar. Archi also has voiceless (pulmonic) variants of its lateral affricates, several voiceless lateral fricatives, and a voiced lateral fricative at the same place of articulation, but no alveolar lateral fricatives or affricates.[1]

[kʟ̝̊ʼ] is also found as an allophone of /kx/ (ejective after a nasal) in Zulu and Xhosa, and of the velar ejective affricate /kxʼ/ in Hadza. In the latter, it contrasts with palatal [cʎ̝̥], as in [cʼakʼa] 'to cradle'. In fact, the velar ejective is reported to be lateral, or to have a lateral allophone, in various languages of Africa which have clicks, including Taa, various varieties of !Kung, Gǁana (including Gǀui dialect), Khwe (ǁAni dialect), and Khoekhoe.[2]


Features of the velar lateral ejective affricate:

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  • 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.
  • The airstream mechanism is ejective (glottalic egressive), which means the air is forced out by pumping the glottis upward.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Archi[3] кьан [kʟ̝̊ʼan] 'to love', 'to want' Archi contrasts between plain and labialized versions.
Sandawe tl’ungu [kʟ̝̊ʼùŋɡȕ] cloud, sky Allophone of /tɬʼ/ before /u, w/
Zulu umklomelo [umkʟ̝̊ʼɔˈmɛːlo] prize


Note that the source uses the symbol for the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative for the fricative part of this sound ([k͡ɬʼ]), but also indicates the sound to be prevelar.

  1. ^ The Archi language tutorial
  2. ^ Hirosi Nakagawa, 1996. An Outline of Gǀui Phonology.
  3. ^ Archi dictionary entry for /k͡ʟ̝̊ʼan/, including sound file

See also