Open main menu

Wikipedia β

The uvular ejective is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨⟩.

Uvular ejective
IPA number 111 + 401
Entity (decimal) q​ʼ
Unicode (hex) U+0071 U+02BC
Kirshenbaum q`


Features of the uvular ejective:


One ejective
A single plain uvular ejective is found in almost all Northeast Caucasian languages, all South Caucasian languages, and some Athabaskan languages, as well as Itelmen, Quechua and Aymara.

  • Itelmen, where it is written ӄ': ӄ'ил'хч [qʼilˀxt͡ʃ] to depart.
  • Georgian, where it is written : ტავი [tʼqʼavi] skin, pelt. Unlike its velar counterpart, it does not contrast with voiced or voiceless uvular stops; the voiceless uvular stop of Old Georgian has merged with the voiceless velar fricative in modern Georgian. Some scholars view this Georgian phoneme as being rather an uvular ejective fricative /χʼ/.
  • Tahltan: [qʼaχaːdiː] door.

Two ejectives
Most Salishan languages, the Tlingit language, and Adyghe and Kabardian (Northwest Caucasian) demonstrate a two-way contrast between labialised and plain uvular ejectives.

  • Klallam: wəə́ [wəqʼəqʼ] frog, sq̕ʷúŋi(ʔ) [sqʷʼuɴi(ʔ)] head.
  • Lezgian, where the two are written кь and кьв: кьакьан [qʼaqʼan] tall, high, кьвех [qʷʼeχ] groin.
  • North Straits Salish, where the two are written K and in the Saanich orthography: Saanich KEYOṮEN [qʼəjat͡ɬʼənˀ] slug, snail, SEḰĆES [sqʷʼəqʷt͡ʃəs] red huckleberry.

The Akhvakh language appears to have a contrast between lax and tense uvular ejectives: [qʼaː] soup, broth (lax) vs. [qːʼama] cock's comb (tense).

Three ejectives

  • Abkhaz contrasts plain, palatalised and labialised uvular ejectives, written ҟ ҟь ҟə: аҟаҧшь [aqʼapʃ] red, -ҵəҟьа [-t͡ɕʷʼqʲʼa] really, indeed (a verbal suffix), Аҟәа [aqʷʼa] Sukhum. As with Georgian, Abkhaz has no non-ejective uvular stops; the historically present uvular aspirates have merged with their corresponding fricatives, although the aspirates are preserved in Abaza.

Five ejectives

  • The plain uvular ejective is one of the most common consonants in Ubykh, due to its presence in the past tense suffix /-qʼa/. But in addition to palatalised, labialised and plain uvular ejectives, Ubykh also possesses a pharyngealised version and a concurrently labialised and pharyngealised version, making a total of five: [qʼaqʼa] he said it, [məqʲʼ] small and round, [qʷʼa] to seize, [qˤʼaqˤʼ] to chew, [qʷˤʼa] cavern.
Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Abaza къапщы [qʼapɕǝ] 'red'
Abkhaz аҟаҧшь [aqʼapʃ] 'red'
Adyghe Hakuchi къӏэ   [qʼa]  'hand' Dialectal. Corresponds to [ʕ] in other dialects.
Archi къам [qʼam] 'forelock'
Georgian რუ [qʼru] 'deaf'
Haida qqayttas [qʼajtʼas] 'basket'
Tlingit k̲ʼateil   [qʼʌtʰeːɬ]  ‘pitcher’

See alsoEdit