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Trends in Phonetics and Phonology

Studies from German-speaking Europe

Edited By Adrian Leemann, Marie-José Kolly, Stephan Schmid and Volker Dellwo

This volume was inspired by the 9th edition of the Phonetik & Phonologie conference, held in Zurich in October 2013. It includes state of the art research on phonetics and phonology in various languages and from interdisciplinary contributors. The volume is structured into the following eight sections: segmentals, suprasegmentals, articulation in spoken and sign language, perception, phonology, crowdsourcing phonetic data, second language speech, and arts (with inevitable overlap between these areas).
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On clicks in German



This paper attempts to give an overview over the non-phonemic use of clicks in German where these ingressive stop sounds can be found in perceptually rather salient forms as an interjection to express affectivity, as an imitative means and as an oral device in man-animal communication. In addition clicks can be used in singing as special forms of vocal percussion. “Weak clicks” as coarticulatory by-products were observed in certain consonant sequences as perceptually less salient forms of clicks in German. Clicks in (German) talk-in-interaction often show some connections to discourse structures and most of them can be analysed in combination with an apical speech preparation gesture and/or ingressive airstream mechanisms for in-breath before a prosodic phrase. It is shown that in German as a “non-click language” clicks are used in a large diversity of functions. Especially in interaction nearly all speakers in the investigated corpus use clicks.


Clicks, interjections, discourse markers

*   Corresponding author:, Tel: +49 681 302 4694, Fax: +49 681 302 4684

a   Computational Linguistics and Phonetics, Campus C7.2, Saarland University, 66041 Saarbrücken, Germany ← 21 | 22 →

1.0   Introduction

Click sounds are usually associated with Khoisan and Bantu languages spoken in the Southern part of Africa where they occur as non-pulmonic consonants of the respective languages such as !Xóõ or Zulu (cf. Maddieson, 2013). In these languages clicks show a phonemic status whereas in many other languages clicks are...

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