A. Walker Scott

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   Qttx is the most commercially important language of the Xttg. Like all their languages, it doesn't really divide its sounds into categories like consonant and vowel. All the sounds of Qttx are clicks, as produced by the Xttg mouth. The descriptions of the sounds on this page are not descriptions of the native production of such sounds, but rather descriptions to help a Human mouth create the nearest possible approximation. It is quite possible for a Human to speak perfectly understandable Qttx (or any other Xttg language), but the differences in production mechanism will always leave you with an odd sound that will mark you as a non-Xttg. The acoustics will never be exact.


     While there are some Human languages which make limited, or even extensive, use of clicks in their vocabularies, unless you are fortunate enough to live in the southern part of Africa, you have likely not encountered these sounds in daily life. I will, as much as possible, supply both the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) symbols and prose descriptions of how to produce the sounds as I introduce them. After a sound is introduced,  I will only supply the IPA symbol, when needed, assuming the reader will refer back to the first occurrence as needed to refresh his, her, or its memory. 


Phoneme Enventory


C - / ǀ /  This is a dental click produced by placing the tongue against the back of the upper front teeth while also closing the airway as for /k/ or /g/. The jaw is then lowered, creating a vacuum of sorts in the space between the two closures, before the front closure is released. This is the sound spelled as in the Zulu and Xhosa languages of South Africa. It is traditionally used to express displeasure, and spelled tsk-tsk in American English or tut! tut! in British English.


D - / ǃ / This is the alveolar click. It is produced with the tongue place on the gum ridge and is quite a loud sound.


G - / ʞˤ /  This is a post-uvular click. It has its closure somewhere in the pharengeal/glottal area.

 

J - / ǂᶴ / This is the "domed" click.


K - / ʞ / This is a velar click, which Human linguists once considered impossible to produce, until they discovered the sound in use in some of their own language communities, just not as a speech sound.


L - / ǁˡ /This is the bi-lateral click. The closure is the same as that for the lateral click, but the release is a very turbulent release on both sides of the tongue.


M - / ǀ̼ʔ / This is a lamino-labial click. It is formed with the tongue pressed against the upper lip. 


N - / ŋ* / This is a nasal flap click. It is formed with an oral closure at the velum and a nasal closure. The glotis is lowered, producing a vacuum, as for any other click, but the release is by lowering the nasal flap, rather than by opening the oral closure.


P - / ʘ / This is a bilabial click, basically, it is smacking your lips. 


Q - / ʞˠ / This is a uvular click.


R - / ǃ˞ / This is the retroflex click.


T - / ǂ / This is the palato-alveolar click.


X - / ǁ / This is a lateral click. It is the sound traditionally used in English speaking countries to urge a horse onward. This sound is also spelled X in Zulu and Xhosa. 



A sample text


jp gg npjk xj ccxj

kk dtt mmp cjxx gdmk

kk gg ckqx pg mn

xj cxdx mg ccd dd

ccx ggcd ktp nd xclx