Click Consonants is an indispensable volume for those who want to understand the linguistics of clicks. Contributions include cutting edge research on the phonetic and phonological characteristics of clicks, as well as on sound changes involving clicks, and clicks in perception, in L2 acquisition, and in apraxia of speech.
Contributors are Wm. G. Bennett, Catherine T. Best, Hilde Gunnink, Dan Dediu, E.D. Elderkin, Anne-Maria Fehn, Sean Fulop, Florian Lionnet, Timothy K. Mathes, Kirk Miller, Scott Moisik, Michael Proctor, Bonny Sands, Signal Analysis and Interpretation Laboratory (SAIL) members (Adam Lammert, Asterios Toutios, Shrikanth Narayanan, Yinghua Zhu), Mollie Steyn, Anita van der Merwe, Richard Wright.
Click consonants are one of the hallmarks of “Khoisan” languages of southern Africa. They are also found in some Bantu languages, where they are usually assumed to have been copied from Khoisan languages. We review the southern African Bantu languages with clicks and discuss in what way they may have obtained these unusual consonants. We draw on both linguistic data and genetic results to gain insights into the sociocultural processes that may have played a role in the prehistoric contact. Our results show that the copying of clicks accompanied large-scale inmarriage of Khoisan women into Bantu-speaking communities and took place in situations where the Khoisan communities may have had relatively high prestige. In the Kavango-Zambezi transfrontier region, these events must have occurred at an early stage of the Bantu immigration, possibly because small groups of food producers entering a new territory were dependent on the autochthonous communities for local knowledge.