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Ejectives are sounds which are made on a laryngeal (glottalic) egressive airstream mechanism. The glottis is closed and the larynx as a whole is pulled upwards by means of the suprahyoid musculature. This creates positive pressure above the vocal folds which initiates a brief egressive airflow. Ejectives are transcribed by means of an apostrophe superscript.
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. Hovering over the phonetic symbols below will show how frequent these sounds are in languages of the world. these figures are based on UPSID (University of California Phonological Segment Inventory Database which now contains 451 languages.