14th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-14)

San Francisco, CA, USA
August 1-7, 1999

|Hán-|Hánsè, the Desert Cisticola, Implements an Acoustic Target

Bolo ‖Xao Tuhuse, Anthony Traill

University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

In !Xóõ, there are two sound symbolic words for the bird, the Desert Cisticola, containing clicks which closely resemble one aspect of the bird's call. The one click is the conventional “palatal” click [|]; the other results when the dorsal closure for the “palatal” click is released while the coronal closure is held. This is indeed an interesting sound because its acoustic signature closely resembles that of [|]; yet the latter is regarded as “coronal” and the former must surely be labeled “dorsal”. The apparent conflict between the acoustic and articulatory properties of the dorsal version of [|] suggests an acoustic target is primarily implemented. Although this click is not a speech sound, it opens the way to consider whether in fact the clicks which are speech sounds, primarily implement acoustic targets as well.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Tuhuse, Bolo ‖Xao / Traill, Anthony (1999): "|Hán-|Hánsè, the desert Cisticola, implements an acoustic target", In ICPhS-14, 1041-1042.