Date: Thu, 9 Oct 1997 00:54:15 -0400
From: Bryan Gick bgick[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]SAPIR.LING.YALE.EDU
Subject: Re: ADS-L Digest - 7 Oct 1997 to 8 Oct 1997
Any of these can be "voiced" (the voicing is phonetically realized by
its effect on the adjacent vowel tone; in fact I think a voiced click
per se is physically impossible), or nasalized (represented with an N
before the click letter), or aspirated (represented with an H after the
click letter, as in the name of the language).
Nope, there are bona fide voiced clicks (even ones with various laryngeal
qualities like laryngealization (creaky) and breathy voicing). The clicks
use a "velaric ingressive" mechanism to produce airflow, meaning that
there's a simultaneous velar tongue closure (as in k or g) and a second
"place of articulation" closure at the lips (in the case of a "kiss"), the
teeth (in the case of "tut-tut"), or the like. While the velar closure is
held throughout, the tongue blade, cheeks or other movable parts pull away
creating a "suction" between the velum and the more front closure. Then,
when the front closure is released (either centrally or laterally), the
air rushing in creates a popping sound. Then, after all this is done, the
velar closure is released and on goes the utterance (whew!). The point of
all this is that, regardless of what's going on in front of the velar
closure, you're still essentially just holding a velar stop. So, depending
on what you're doing with your glottis, you could be making a k, a kh, a
g or an eng, as you see fit.
Ask me tomorrow what this has to do with American dialects.