Consonants

Consonants are differentiated by manner and place of articulation, and by word-internal gemination. Plosives also have contrasting voice.

labial alveolar palatal velar glottal
stop p b t d c ɟ <j> k g ʔ <’>
nasal m n ŋ <q>
lateral l
central ɾ <r>
fricative f s ɕ <x> h

This table shows the consonants phonemically, using the International Phonetic Alphabet. Where it differs from IPA, the transliteration is given in <triangular brackets>. Capital or geminate glottal stops are transliterated with <ʔ>.

Stops

Plosives are differentiated by voicing, although voiced consonants tend to be rarer than their voiceless counterparts.

The voiced plosives are fully voiced word-internally and partially voiced word-initially. Voiced geminate plosives are given breathy voice. Voiceless plosives are lightly aspirated, which is suppressed in voiceless geminate plosives.

Geminate plosives are held for approximately twice as long as non-geminate plosives.

Labials

The plosives /p/ and /b/ are bilabial.

pu’iba ball

qapi rope

kuppu be strong

bufi pebble

huba to breathe

kibba stick

Alveolars

The plosives /t/ and /d/ are apical.

turassi redhead

fi’atu certain

matta again

daru road

xidu far away

kuddu rain

Palatal

The plosives /c/ and /ɟ/ are laminal. In fast speech, they can approach the affricates /tʃ/ and /dʒ/.

cissa air

xuci feather

nacca clothing

jagaru sand

sajimu crack

majja here

Velars

The velar plosives are /k/ and /g/.

ka’u jump

’isaki cooperate

nukki strawberry

gurrisu door

danagi decree

saggi iron pyrites

Glottal

The glottal stop /ʔ/ is one of the most common sounds. Non-geminate glottal stops are often suppressed between unstressed vowels. The second of a geminate glottal stop becomes a palatal approximant /j/.

’anu balance

kuli’a friend

nasiʔu sheep

Nasals

There are nasal consonants at each of the places of articulation of the plosives. However, the palatal nasal is only found when geminating the alveolar nasal. Nasals are prototypically voiced. Geminate nasals are held for 1 ½ times as long as non-geminates.

Labial

The labial nasal /m/ is bilabial.

mana bubble

salumi seven

girammi thunder

Alveolar

The alveolar nasal /n/ is apical. When geminated, this sound is palatal and laminal.

nu to stop

lulani queen

sinna story

Velar

The nasal /ŋ/ is velar.

quliru family

kunaqi earth

laqqu wealth

Approximants

The approximants are mainly differentiated by laterality. This language lacks phonemic glides. Like nasals, approximants are prototypically voiced, and geminates are held for 1 ½ times as long as non-geminates.

The consonant /l/ is lateral and apical. When geminated, this sound is laminal and palatal.

The consonant /ɾ/ is central and laminal. When geminated, this sound becomes a trill.

lassi baby

kulu fork

malliju happiness

ru’iha history

karafi enlightenment

qarri to open

Fricatives

Fricatives do not have complete closure of the vocal tract, but are formed with enough constriction to bring turbulence to the airstream.

Fricatives are prototypically voiceless. The lips remain unrounded for all fricatives unless followed or preceded by a rounded vowel. Geminate fricatives are held for 1 ½ times as long as non-geminates.

Labial

The fricative /f/ is realised as labiodental.

faxi to survive

bufiqi illness

’iffa it

Alveolar

The fricative /s/ is apical.

sikka skin

husabi finger

’alissa to need

Palatal

The palatal fricative /ɕ/ is laminal.

xaha name

puxila message

dixxa to drink

Glottal

The fricative /h/ is a voiceless sound. When geminate, it is pronounced as a palatal fricative.

hannaku cat

tihu to dwell

quhha river