Sixth International Conference on Spoken Language Processing
(ICSLP 2000)

Beijing, China
October 16-20, 2000

Contrastive Lateral Clicks and Variation in Click Types

Amanda Miller-Ockhuizen (1), Bonny E. Sands (2)

(1) The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA
(2) Northern Arizona University, USA

We report on a new click type found in Mangetti Dune !Xung (M.D. !Xung) - a forward released denti-alveolar lateral click, transcribed [ ||| ]. We present acoustic data showing that ||| is distinct from the "typical" lateral (post-) alveolar ||, and the central (post-) alveolar !, a conclusion supported by synchronic and diachronic analyses of Northern Khoisan [1, 2].

We use Adaptive Dispersion [3] to account for acoustic differences seen between || in !Xung and Ju|’hoansi, a related language without the ||| click.

The ! click is distinct from both ||| and || lateral clicks in rise time till peak intensity [4, 5], burst duration and peak burst frequency, while ||| and || differ primarily in terms of rise time and peak intensity.


  1. Miller-Ockhuizen, Amanda and Bonny E. Sands. (1999). "!Kung as a linguistic construct". Language and Communication 19/4. June 1999. pp. 401-413.
  2. Sands, Bonny E. and Amanda Miller-Ockhuizen. (2000). "Comparative Evidence for New Click Types in Northern Khoisan". Paper presented at the 74th Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Society of America. Chicago, Illinois.
  3. Lindblom, Björn. (1990). "Models of phonetic variation and selection." PERILUS (Phonetic Experimental Research, Institute of Linguistics , University of Stockholm) 11: 65-100.
  4. Ladefoged, P. and A. Traill. (1984)."Linguistic Phonetic descriptions of clicks." Language 60: 1-20.
  5. Ladefoged, P. and A. Traill. (1994). "Clicks and their accompaniments." Journal of Phonetics 22: 33-64.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Miller-Ockhuizen, Amanda / Sands, Bonny E. (2000): "Contrastive lateral clicks and variation in click types", In ICSLP-2000, vol.2, 499-502.