In phonetics, ejective consonants are usually voiceless consonants that are pronounced with a glottalic egressive airstream. In the phonology of a particular language, ejectives may contrast with aspirated, voiced and tenuis consonants. Some languages have glottalized sonorants with creaky voice that pattern with ejectives phonologically, and other languages have ejectives that pattern with implosives, which has led to phonologists positing a phonological class of glottalic consonants, which includes ejectives.
In producing an ejective, the stylohyoid muscle and digastric muscle contract, causing the hyoid bone and the connected glottis to raise, and the forward articulation (at the velum in the case of Template:IPA) is held, raising air pressure greatly in the mouth so when the oral articulators separate, there is a dramatic burst of air. The Adam's apple may be seen moving when the sound is pronounced. In the languages in which they are more obvious, ejectives are often described as sounding like “spat” consonants, but ejectives are often quite weak. In some contexts and in some languages, they are easy to mistake for tenuis or even voiced stops. These weakly ejective articulations are sometimes called intermediates in older American linguistic literature and are notated with different phonetic symbols: Template:Angbr IPA = strongly ejective, Template:Angbr IPA = weakly ejective. Strong and weak ejectives have not been found to be contrastive in any natural language.
In strict, technical terms, ejectives are glottalic egressive consonants. The most common ejective is Template:IPA even if it is more difficult to produce than other ejectives like Template:IPA or Template:IPA because the auditory distinction between Template:IPA and Template:IPA is greater than with other ejectives and voiceless consonants of the same place of articulation. In proportion to the frequency of uvular consonants, Template:IPA is even more common, as would be expected from the very small oral cavity used to pronounce a voiceless uvular stop. Template:IPA, on the other hand, is quite rare. That is the opposite pattern to what is found in the implosive consonants, in which the bilabial is common and the velar is rare.
Ejective fricatives are rare for presumably the same reason: with the air escaping from the mouth while the pressure is being raised, like inflating a leaky bicycle tire, it is harder to distinguish the resulting sound as salient as a Template:IPA.
Ejectives occur in about 20% of the world's languages. Ejectives that phonemically contrast with pulmonic consonants occur in about 15% of languages around the world. The occurrence of ejectives often correlates to languages in mountainous regions such as the North American Cordillera where ejectives are extremely common. They frequently occur throughout the Andes and Maya Mountains. They are also common in East African Rift and the South African Plateau, see Geography of Africa. In Eurasia they are extremely common in the Caucasus which forms an island of ejective languages. Elsewhere, they are rare. Template:Harvcoltxt argues that the geographic correlation is because of decreased air pressure making ejectives easier to produce, as well as the way ejectives help to reduce water vapor loss.
Language families that distinguish ejective consonants include:
- Ethiosemitic : Languages such as Amharic and Tigrinya
- All three families of the Caucasus : the Northwest Caucasian languages such as Abkhaz and languages of the Cherkess family ; the Northeast Caucasian languages such as Chechen and Avar ; and the Kartvelian languages such as Georgian
- the Athabaskan, Siouan and Salishan families of North America along with the many diverse families of the Pacific Northwest from central California to British Columbia
- Mayan family
- Aymaran family
- the southern varieties of Quechua (Qusqu-Qullaw)
- Puelche and Tehuelche of the Chonan languages
- Alacalufan family
- Cushitic and Omotic languages, Hausa
- a few Nilo-Saharan languages
- Sandawe, Hadza, and the Khoisan families of southern Africa
- Itelmen of the Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages
- Yapese of the Austronesian family
According to the glottalic theory, the Proto-Indo-European language had a series of ejectives (or, in some versions, implosives), but no extant Indo-European language has retained them[a]. Ejectives are found today in Ossetian only because of influence of the nearby Northeast Caucasian and/or Kartvelian language families.
It had once been predicted that ejectives and implosives would not be found in the same language but both have been found phonemically at several points of articulation in Nilo-Saharan languages (Gumuz, Me'en, and T'wampa), Mayan language (Yucatec), Salishan (Lushootseed), and the Oto-Manguean Mazahua. Nguni languages, such as Zulu have an implosive b alongside a series of allophonically ejective stops. Dahalo of Kenya, has ejectives, implosives, and click consonants.
Almost all ejective consonants in the world's languages are stops or affricates, and all ejective consonants are obstruents. Template:IPA is the most common ejective, and Template:IPA is common among languages with uvulars, Template:IPA less so, and Template:IPA is uncommon. Among affricates, Template:IPA are all quite common, and Template:IPA and Template:IPA are not unusual (Template:IPA is particularly common among the Khoisan languages, where it is the ejective equivalent of Template:IPA).
|Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA||Template:IPA||Template:IPA||Template:IPA link|
|Template:IPA||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA||Template:IPA||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA||Template:IPA|
|Fricative||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link||Template:IPA link|
|Lateral affricate||Template:IPA||Template:IPA link||Template:PUA||Template:PUA|
|Lateral fricative||Template:IPA||Template:IPA link|
A few languages have ejective fricatives. In some dialects of Hausa, the standard affricate Template:IPA is a fricative Template:IPA; Ubykh (Northwest Caucasian, now extinct) had an ejective lateral fricative Template:IPA; and the related Kabardian also has ejective labiodental and alveolopalatal fricatives, Template:IPA. Tlingit is an extreme case, with ejective alveolar, lateral, velar, and uvular fricatives, Template:IPA; it may be the only language with the last type. Upper Necaxa Totonac is unusual and perhaps unique in that it has ejective fricatives (alveolar, lateral, and postalveolar Template:IPA) but lacks any ejective stop or affricate (Beck 2006). Other languages with ejective fricatives are Yuchi, which some sources analyze as having Template:IPA (but not the analysis of the Wikipedia article), Keres dialects, with Template:IPA, and Lakota, with Template:IPA . Amharic is interpreted by many as having an ejective fricative Template:IPA, at least historically, but it has been also analyzed as now being a sociolinguistic variant (Takkele Taddese 1992).
Because the complete closing of the glottis required to form an ejective makes voicing impossible, the allophonic voicing of ejective phonemes causes them to lose their glottalization; this occurs in Blin (modal voice) and Kabardian (creaky voice). A similar historical sound change also occurred in Veinakh and Lezgic in the Caucasus, it and has been postulated by the glottalic theory for Indo-European. Some Khoisan languages have voiced ejective stops and voiced ejective clicks; however, they actually contain mixed voicing, and the ejective release is voiceless.
Ejective trills are rare, if they exist as distinct sounds at all. An ejective Template:IPA would necessarily be voiceless, but the vibration of the trill, combined with a lack of the intense voiceless airflow of Template:IPA, gives an impression like that of voicing. Similarly, ejective nasals such as Template:IPA (also necessarily voiceless) are possible. (An apostrophe is commonly seen with r, l and nasals, but that is Americanist phonetic notation for a glottalized consonant and does not indicate an ejective.)
Other ejective sonorants are not known to occur. When sonorants are transcribed with an apostrophe in the literature as if they were ejective, they actually involve a different airstream mechanism: they are glottalized consonants and vowels whose glottalization partially or fully interrupts an otherwise normal voiced pulmonic airstream, somewhat like English uh-uh (either vocalic or nasal) pronounced as a single sound. Often the constriction of the larynx causes it to rise in the vocal tract, but this is individual variation and not the initiator of the airflow. Such sounds generally remain voiced.
In the International Phonetic Alphabet, ejectives are indicated with a "modifier letter apostrophe" Template:Angbr, as in this article. A reversed apostrophe is sometimes used to represent light aspiration, as in Armenian linguistics Template:Angbr IPA; this usage is obsolete in the IPA. In other transcription traditions, the apostrophe represents palatalization: Template:Angbr IPA = IPA Template:Angbr IPA. In some Americanist traditions, an apostrophe indicates weak ejection and an exclamation mark strong ejection: Template:Angbr IPA. In the IPA, the distinction might be written Template:Angbr IPA, but it seems that no language distinguishes degrees of ejection. Transcriptions of the Caucasian languages often utilize combining dots above or below a letter to indicate an ejective.
In alphabets using the Latin script, an IPA-like apostrophe for ejective consonants is common. However, there are other conventions. In Hausa, the hooked letter ƙ is used for Template:IPA. In Zulu and Xhosa, whose ejection is variable between speakers, plain consonant letters are used: p t k ts tsh kr for Template:IPA. In some conventions for Haida and Hadza, double letters are used: tt kk qq ttl tts for Template:IPA (Haida) and zz jj dl gg for Template:IPA (Hadza).
- bilabial ejective Template:Audio-IPA (in Abkhaz, Adyghe, Amharic, Archi, Georgian, Hadza, Kabardian, Lezgian, Lakota, Nez Perce, Quechua, Tigrinya, Zulu)
- dental ejective Template:IPA (in Dahalo, Lakota, Tigrinya)
- alveolar ejective Template:Audio-IPA (in Abkhaz, Adyghe, Amharic, Archi, Avar, Bats, Kabardian, Georgian, Gwich’in, Nez Perce, Quechua, Tlingit, Zulu)
- retroflex ejective Template:IPA (in Gwich’in)
- palatal ejective Template:Audio-IPA (in Bats, Hausa, Giwi, Nez Perce)
- velar ejective Template:Audio-IPA (in Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Amharic, Archi, Avar, Georgian, Giwi, Gwich’in, Hausa, Kabardian, Lakota, Nez Perce, Quechua, Sandawe, Tigrinya, Tlingit, Zulu)
- uvular ejective Template:Audio-IPA (in Abaza, Abkhaz, Archi, Bats, Georgian, Hakuchi, Nez Perce, Quechua, Tlingit)
- epiglottal ejective Template:Audio-IPA (in Dargwa)
- alveolar ejective affricate Template:Audio-IPA (in Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Amharic, Archi, Avar, Georgian, Giwi, Gwich’in, Hadza, Hausa, Kabardian, Sandawe, Tlingit, Ubykh)
- labialized alveolar ejective affricate Template:IPA (in Archi)
- palato-alveolar ejective affricate Template:Audio-IPA (in Abaza, Abkhaz, Adyghe, Amharic, Archi, Avar, Chipewyan, Georgian, Gwich’in, Hadza, Hausa, Kabardian, Lakota, Quechua, Tigrinya, Tlingit, Ubykh, Zulu)
- labialized palato-alveolar ejective affricate Template:IPA (in Abaza, Archi)
- retroflex ejective affricate Template:Audio-IPA (in Abkhaz, Adyghe, Ubykh)
- alveolo-palatal ejective affricate Template:IPA (in Abaza, Abkhaz, Ubykh)
- labialized alveolo-palatal ejective affricate Template:IPA (in Abkhaz, Ubykh)
- palatal ejective affricate Template:Audio-IPA
- dental ejective affricate Template:IPA (in Chipewyan, Gwich’in)
- velar ejective affricate Template:Audio-IPA (in Hadza, Zulu)
- uvular ejective affricate Template:Audio-IPA (in Avar, Giwi, Lillooet)
- alveolar lateral ejective affricate Template:Audio-IPA (in Baslaney, Chipewyan, Dahalo, Gwich’in, Haida, Lillooet, Nez Perce, Sandawe, Tlingit, Tsez)
- palatal lateral ejective affricate Template:IPA (in Dahalo, Hadza)
- velar lateral ejective affricate Template:Audio-IPA (in Archi, Gǀui)
- labialized velar lateral ejective affricate Template:IPA (in Archi)
- bilabial ejective fricative Template:IPA
- labiodental ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Abaza, Kabardian)
- dental ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Chiwere)
- alveolar ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Chiwere, Lakota, Shapsug, Tigrinya, Tlingit)
- alveolar lateral ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Abaza, Adyghe, Kabardian, Tlingit, Ubykh)
- palato-alveolar ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Adyghe, Lakota)
- labialized palato-alveolar ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Adyghe)
- retroflex ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA
- alveolo-palatal ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Kabardian)
- palatal ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA
- velar ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Tlingit)
- labialized velar ejective fricative Template:IPA (in Tlingit)
- uvular ejective fricative Template:Audio-IPA (in Tlingit)
- labialized uvular ejective fricative Template:IPA (in Tlingit)
- Fallon, 2002. The synchronic and diachronic phonology of ejectives
- Bickford & Floyd (2006) Articulatory Phonetics, Table 25.1, augmented by sources at the articles on individual consonants
- In Ubyx; allophonic with Template:IPA and Template:IPA
- John Esling (2010) "Phonetic Notation", in Hardcastle, Laver & Gibbon (eds) The Handbook of Phonetic Sciences, 2nd ed., p 700.
- Barker, M. A. R. (1963a).
- Heselwood (2013: 148)
- Esling, John H.; Moisik, Scott R.; Benner, Allison; Crevier-Buchman, Lise (2019). Voice Quality: The Laryngeal Articulator Model. Cambridge University Press.
- Beck, David (2006). "The emergence of ejective fricatives in Upper Necaxa Totonac". University of Alberta Working Papers in Linguistics. 1: 1–18.
- Campbell, Lyle. 1973. On Glottalic Consonants. International Journal of American Linguistics 39, 44–46. Template:Jstor
- Chirikba, V.A. Aspects of Phonological Typology. Moscow, 1991 (in Russian).
- Fallon, Paul. 2002. The Synchronic and Diachronic Phonology of Ejectives. Routledge. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 0-415-93800-7, <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css" />ISBN 978-0-415-93800-6.
- Hogan, J. T. (1976). "An analysis of the temporal features of ejective consonants." Phonetica 33: 275–284. Template:Doi
- Lindau, M. (1984). "Phonetic differences in glottalic consonants." Journal of Phonetics, 12: 147–155. Template:Doi
- Lindsey, Geoffrey; Hayward, Katrina; Haruna, Andrew (1992). "Hausa Glottalic Consonants: A Laryngographic Study". Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 55: 511–527. doi:10.1017/S0041977X00003682.
- Taddese, Takkele (1992). "Are sʼ and tʼ variants of an Amharic variable? A sociolinguistic analysis". Journal of Ethiopian Languages and Literature. 2: 104–21.
- Wright, Richard; Hargus, Sharon; Davis, Katharine (2002). "On the categorization of ejectives: data from Witsuwit'en.". Journal of the International Phonetic Association. 32: 43–77. doi:10.1017/S0025100302000142.