Philippine Normal University
Taft Ave., Manila
College of Languages Linguistics, and Literature
DEPARTMENT OF LINGUISTICS, BILINGUAL EDUCATION, & LITERATURE
Ling 502 (Articulatory Phonetics)
Dr. Gina O. Gonong
NON-PULMONIC AIRSTREAM MECHANISMS
I. Things to remember about speech production:
- Speech results from the displacement of air through the airways
(trachea, larynx, and pharynx) mouth, and nose.
- Airstream is the air that we used for speech production.
- Most world language’s sounds are produced by pushing the air out of
the lungs through the vocal tract. Since the air originates from the
lungs, it is pulmonic, and since it is pushed out, it is egressive.
II. Different Non-Pulmonic Airstream Mechanisms
a.1 Describing Ejectives
o Speech sounds made by when the air in the mouth is pressurized by
an upward movement of the closed glottis, and then released
suddenly (Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams, 2003)
o These are stops made with a glottalic egressive airstream
mechanism (Ladefodge and Maddieson, 2010).
o Ejectives are produced when the glottis is completely closed and, at
the same time, there is a closure in the oral cavity. When the glottis
moves upward, the air between the glottis and the articulators is
compressed. As the articulation is released this pressurized air is
rapidly expelled from the oral cavity, creating an ejective puff of air.
Ejectives are also referred to as explosives or glottalized consonants.
o The diacritic indicating an ejective is an apostrophe [ ‘ ] placed after a
symbol of a voiceless consonant (for example, [t’], [ts’], or [x’])
(Ladefodge and Johnson, 2010).
o Ejectives of different kinds occur in various languages such as Native
American languages (e.g. Wintu, South Eastern Pomo, Lakhota, and
Navajo); African languages (e.g. Hausa), and languages spoken in
Caucasus (e.g. Georgia and Kabardia). (Ladfodge and Maddieson, 1996
and Ladefodge and Johnson, 2010)
/p’o/ - foggy
/t’uʃǝ/ - at all cost
/k’u/ - to give
/k’a:rá/ - increase vs. /ka:rá/- put near
/s’a:rá/ - arrange vs. /sa:rá/ - cut
o Most ejectives in the languages of the world are ejective stops. Some
languages also have ejective affricates, and a few have ejective
fricatives. (Cleghorn and Rugg, 2010)
a.2 Producing Ejectives
o Learning to produce ejectives is relatively easy. Stops are probably the
easiest sounds to learn as ejectives.
o Remember to practice only with voiceless sounds, as it is not possible
to produce a voiced ejective.
o In producing ejective stops, the larynx is raise just before the release
of the consonant. You can practice this muscle movement by
pretending to spit a small bit of grass off the tip of your tongue.
Protrude your tongue tip between your lips and draw it in sharply,
blowing the imaginary fragment away. If you can produce a glottalic
air stream like this, try doing the same with [p], [t], and [k].
o Hold your breath and say [k] several times in a row, loud enough so
that someone sitting next to you could hear it.
o Another suggestion is to expel all of the air from your lungs and then
try to say [k]. This will result in using the glottis to produce the air
necessary for this sound.
Exercise A.1 : Reproducing Ejectives
Repeat the following set of sentences after the recording, pronouncing all
of the voiceless stops as ejectives.
1. p’eter p’ip’er p’icked p’ep’ers
2. k’atherine k’ik’ed the k’ing
3. t’ake t’ommy t’o the t’rain
4. s’is’ter s’ue s’its s’ewing s’ocks
5. f’ive f’unny f’oxes f’uss
6. t ’ʃ ew t ’ʃ unky t ’ʃ ocolate t ’ʃ ips
o Ejectives are usually distinguishable by the sharp burst of air that
accompanies their release. This burst is a characteristic of the glottalic
air stream that produces ejectives. (Cleghorn and Rugg, 2010)
Exercise: Recognizing Ejectives
Listen carefully to each utterance in the next exercise and respond with
“ejective” or “no.”
1. [ t ]ɑ ɑ No
2. [ t’ ]ɑ ɑ Ejective
3. [k’ ]ɑ Ejective
4. [n ko]ɑ No
5. [ap’ ]ɑ Ejective
6. [lope] No
7. [ŋup ]ʊ No
8. [ut’ ]ʊ Ejective
b.2 Decription of Implosives
o Sounds produced with an ingressive airstream that involves
movement of the glottis (Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams, 2003).
o For implosive sounds, the air stream is set in motion by the glottis and
moves inward. This is described as ingressive glottalic air. (Cleghorn
and Rugg, 2010).
o Implosives occur contrastively in approximately 10–15% of the
world’s languages. Stops are the most common implosive sounds, but
some languages contain implosive and affricates as well. (Reghron
and Rugg, 2010). It is found languages such as Sindhi (an Indo-Aryan
language spoken in India and Pakistan) and several African (Uduk,
Ugandan, and Nilo-Saharan languages) and Native American
languages (Ladfoged and Maddieson, 2010)
o The IPA indicates that a sound is implosive with an upper right hook
on the base symbol (for example [ ]ɓ ). The official symbols for
voiceless implosive stops do not correspond with those for egressive
voiceless stops. Voiceless implosives are represented by placing an
Under-ring [ c] beneath or an Over-ring [ _] above the symbol for the
voiced implosive at the same point of articulation (for example, [ c]ɓ or
[ _]ɠ ).
o In the production of implosives, the downward moving of the larynx is
not usually closed. The air in the lungs is still being pushed out, and
some of it passes between the vocal folds, keeping them in motion so
that the sound is voiced (Ladefoged and Johnson, 2010).
- Most people find voiced implosives easier to produce than voiceless
ones. To start with the voiced velar implosive [ ]ɠ , try to imitate the
“glug, glug” of water being poured from a bottle: [ ]ɠəʔ ɠəʔ ɠəʔ ɠəʔ
(Cleghorn and Rugg, 2010).
- In the same way, you may be able to produce the voiced velar
implosive [ ]ɠ by imitating the croaking of a bull frog: [ɠəʔ ɠəʔ ɠəʔ
]ɠəʔ If this helps you to articulate the velar implosive, try the other
implosives [ ]ɓ , [ ]ɗ , [ ]ʄ , and [ ]ʛ by analogy. (Cleghorn and Rugg, 2010)
- To produce voiceless implosives, try whispering the exercises above.
Practice this until you can do it with [ c]ɓ , [ c]ɗ , [ c]ʄ , [ _]ɠ , and [ c]ʛ , then
work on using voiced vowels between the voiceless implosives
(Cleghorn and Rugg, 2010)
Exercise B.1 : Producing Implosives
Practice saying the sentences after the recording in the following
exercise. Practice these until the implosive sounds.
1. ɓig ɓad ɓoy
2. ɠooey ɠreen ɠrapes
3. ɗoes ɗotty ɗream
4. lɓ eter lɓ i lɓ er lɓ icked lɓ e l lɓ ɓ ers
5. .ɠ atherine .ɠ icked the .ɠ ing
6. lɗ ake lɗ ommy lɗ o the lɗ rain
c.1 Describing Clicks
o Clicks are speech sounds made by an ingressive airstream
mechanism that produces sounds by sucking air into the mouth and
forcing it between the articulators to produce a sharp sound.
(Fromkin, Rodman, and Hyams, 2003).
o Clicks are the only speech sounds produced with a lingual ingressive
air stream. Lingual ingressive air is set in motion by the tongue and
moves inward ( Cleghorn and Rugg, 2010)
o Clicks occur in languages in Southern Africa (Zulu and Xhosa) and
East Africa (Dahalo). However, clicks do not occur in any ordinary
languages outside Africa although they are used as extralinguistic
signals in other societies. (Ladefoged and Maddieson, 1996).
o Clicks sometimes occur in English, but not as a part of normal words.
They are restricted to special expressions such as to show pity
(written as “tsk, tsk, tsk”) or the noise sometimes used to get a horse
to quicken its pace (often spelled “tchlick”) (Cleghorn and Rugg,
c.2 Producing Clicks
- Most of the clicks presented in this lesson are rather simple to
produce. A bilabial click, for example, is nothing more than a kiss,
while the dental click [ ]ǀ is quite similar to the expression “tsk, tsk,
tsk.” (Cleghorn and Rugg, 2010)
- The action of the tongue that produces the inward air stream for
clicks may be thought of as a sucking action similar to that of a baby
sucking a bottle. If this action is imitated while saying [t], the result
will be the alveolar click [ ]ǃ . Once the proper tongue action is
achieved, itvis a simple matter to change the point of articulation to
pronounce any of the clicks on the chart above. (Cleghorn and Rugg,
- These are the most common clicks in spoken language:
a.) the bilabial click (symbolized by a Bull’s Eye [ ]ʘ );
b.) the dental click (called Pipe [ ]),ǀ
c.) the alveolar or alveopalatal click (represented by an
Exclamation Point [ ]ǃ ),
d.) the palatal or palatalalveolar click (called Double-barred
Pipe [ ]ǂ ),
e.) the alveolar lateral click (symbolized by a Double Pipe [ ]ǁ ).
- Contrasts involving clicks in Xhosa. (Ladefoged and Johnson, 2010)
e.g /ukúk|ola/ - to grind fine
/ukúk!o a/ɓ - to break stones
/úk||olo/ - peace
/ukúŋ|oma/ - to admire
/ukúŋ!ola/ - to climb up
/ukúŋ||i a/ɓ - to put on clothes
Exercise c.1: Producing Voiceless Clicks
1. a) [ ]ʘɑ b) [ ]ɑʘɑ c) [ ŋ_ ]ɑ ʘɑ d) [ x ]ɑʘ ɑ
2. a) [ ]ǀɑ b) [ ]ɑǀɑ c) [ ŋ_ ]ɑ ǀɑ d) [ x ]ɑǀ ɑ
3. a) [ ]ǃɑ b) [ ]ɑǃɑ c) [ ŋ_ ]ɑ ǃɑ d) [ x ]ɑǃ ɑ
4. a) [ ]ǂɑ b) [ ]ɑǂɑ c) [ ŋ_ ]ɑ ǂɑ d)
[ x ]ɑǂ ɑ
5. a) [ ]ǁɑ b) [ ]ɑǁɑ c) [ ŋ_ ]ɑ ǁɑ d) [ x ]ɑǁ ɑ
Exercise c.2: Producing Voiced Clicks
1. a) [g ]ʘɑ b) [ g ]ɑ ʘɑ c) [ ŋ ]ɑ ʘɑ d) [ g x ]ɑ ʘ ɑ
2. a) [g ]ǀɑ b) [ g ]ɑ ǀɑ c) [ ŋ ]ɑ ǀɑ d) [ g x ]ɑ ǀ ɑ
3. a) [g ]ǃɑ b) [ g ]ɑ ǃɑ c) [ ŋ ]ɑ ǃɑ d) [ g x ]ɑ ǃ ɑ
4. a) [g ]ǂɑ b) [ g ]ɑ ǂɑ c) [ ŋ ]ɑ ǂɑ d) [ g x ]ɑ ǂ ɑ
5. a) [g ]ǁɑ b) [ g ]ɑ ǁɑ c) [ ŋ ]ɑ ǁɑ d) [ g x ]ɑ ǁ ɑ
Cleghorn T.L. and Rugg, N.M. (2010). Comprehensive articulatory phonetics. Retrieved July 11,
2012 from http://www.scribd.com/doc/51737217/Comprehensive-Articulatory-Phonetics-2010
Fromkin, V.; Rodman, R.; and Hyams, N.. (2003). An introduction to language.. United States:
Ladefodge, P. and Johnon K. (2010) A course in phonetics 6th
Wadsworth, Cenage Learning.
Ladefodge, Peter and Maddieson, Ian. (1996). The sounds of world’s languages.
Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishing Inc.