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Will Bennett

Rhodes University

Monday, May 9th at 2:00 PM in AP&M 4301. 

Click Nasality as Pulmonic Airstream

Abstract:  A survey of languages with click consonants reveals a surprising universal: if a language has click consonants, then it has nasal clicks. Thus, there are languages which have nasal clicks but not oral ones, but not vice versa. This is unexpected: nasality is generally regarded as a marked property of segments, and if anything, non-clicks seem to show the reverse kind of relation (e.g. languages with nasals also have oral consonants, etc.).  This talk claims that nasal clicks are not genuinely [+nasal], and that their nasality is instead a phonetic consequence of maintaining pulmonic airflow through a click. Based on this premise, a simple set of constraints explains the cross-linguistic patterns of oral and nasal click distribution.