Markedness and Implicational Universals in Click Typology
A survey of click consonants in a wide array of languages finds a surprising implicational universal: whenever and wherever a language permits clicks, it permits nasal clicks (Bennett 2008, 2017/in press). Thus, there are languages that have nasal clicks but not oral ones, but not vice versa. There are also languages where clicks are predictably nasal in certain conditions, but no known patterns where nasal clicks are subject to restrictions not shared by oral clicks. This talk claims that representing nasal clicks simply as clicks which bear the feature [+nasal] is inadequate: it fails to derive the !→n! implicational relationship. The proposed alternative is that nasality in clicks is due to continuation of pulmonic airflow, which must be vented nasally in clicks due to the oral occlusions needed to produce the suction required for a lingual (or velaric) airstream. Representing nasal clicks as [+pulmonic] rather than [+nasal] leads to a theory that successfully captures the implicational relationship between nasal and oral clicks in the typology. Finally, we consider how this implicational universal in the typology interacts with another markedness scale, a second implicational hierarchy among click types.