Chapter 6 Studying Clicks Using Real-Time MRI

In: Click Consonants

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Our understanding of clicks has been limited in some important respects by the technologies available for phonetic research. New insights into click production are available through the use of real-time Magnetic Resonance Imaging, which offers dynamic information about the midsagittal configuration of the entire vocal tract, including the velum, tongue root, and larynx. Aspects of click phonetics which have previously proven difficult to study are examined in Khoekhoegowab and siSwati, as well as in paralinguistic click production by a beatboxer. These data demonstrate the utility of real-time MRI for phonetic characterization of non-pulmonic consonants, as a method which provides global information about vocal tract configuration and coordination of laryngeal and supra-glottal articulation.