Nutshell phonetics of ejectives

Ejectives are sounds which are made on a laryngeal (glottalic) egressive airstream mechanism. In order to pronounce these sounds, the vocal folds in the larynx are tight together and the larynx as a whole is pulled upwards by means of the action of the suprahyoid muscles. This sudden upward movement of the larynx creates higher pressure above the vocal folds and this causes a brief egressive airflow that serves as the energy for plosives and fricatives. Only the latter two sound categories can be realised electively. Ejectives are by definition voiceless.

Ejectives are transcribed phonetically by adding an apostrophe superscript to the relevant plosive or fricative symbol.

Ejectives are quite common in languages of the world: they occur in languages of the Caucasus, in East Asian and African languages, and in North, Central and South American languages. They are nowadays very common in English too as the allophonic realisation of plosives at the end of utterances.

 

LABIAL •
Voiceless
LINGUO-LABIAL •
Ejective Plosive
P the voiceless labial plosive ejective
Phonetic symbol for the linguo-labial plosive ejective
Voiceless
LABIO-DENTAL •
Phonetic symbol for the voiceless labio-dental plosive ejective.
• LABIO - DENTAL
Phonetic symbol of the labio-dental fricative ejective.
Voiceless
DENTAL •
Phonetic symbol for the dental plosive ejective.
Voiceless
ALVEOLAR •
Phonetic symbol for the alveolar plosive ejective
• ALVEOLAR
Phonetic symbol of the alveolar fricative ejective.
Voiceless
RETROFLEX •
Phonetic symbol for the retroflex plosive ejective.
• RETROFLEX
Phonetic symbol for the retroflex fricativevejective.
Voiceless
PALATAL •
Phonetic symbol for the palatal plosive ejective
• PALATAL
Phonetic symbol for the palatal fricative ejective.
Voiceless
VELAR •
Phonetic symbol of the velar plosive ejective
• VELAR
Phonetic symbol of the velar fricative ejective.
Voiceless
UVULAR •
Phonetic symbol for the uvular plosive ejective
• UVULAR
Phonetic symbol of the uvular fricative ejective.
Ejective Plosive
Ejective Plosive
Ejective Fricative
Ejective Plosive
Ejective Plosive
Ejective Fricative
Ejective Plosive
Ejective Fricative
Ejective Plosive
Ejective Fricative
Ejective Plosive
Ejective Fricative
Ejective Plosive
Ejective Fricative

Symbols for the phonetic transcription of Ejectives

Voiceless
Voiceless
Voiceless
Voiceless
Voiceless
Voiceless
LABIAL
LABIO
DENTAL
ALVEOLAR
UVULAR
PALATAL
PLOSIVES •
• PLOSIVES
FRICATIVES •
DENTAL
RETROFLEX
VELAR
• FRICATIVES
Voiceless