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Originally published in Queue vol. 7, no. 6
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Stan Kelly-Bootle | Fri, 14 Aug 2009 18:15:50 UTC

Splendid riposte, Paul. I have been on the front row for a Myriam Makeba concert. Whether the clicks themselves emitted CO2 was not clear at the time, but I bow to your correction. In fact, all languages have a variety of sounds each with different /carbon-mouth-prints/. Xhosa has a full repertoire of phonemes besides the Western-ear-catching so-called /exotic/ clicks. I can imagine Xhosa speakers being annoyed when asked to sing a /click song/ Rather as if they asked me to sing a TH-song? All speakers must breathe in and out (or die). It's probably /greener/ to sit and chat in language than to jog around in silence. Cheers, Stan

Paul Keating | Tue, 04 Aug 2009 21:05:21 UTC

Xhosa clicks cause no outflow of breath. The energy for the sound comes from increasing the size of the mouth cavity. Were that not enough, Xhosa also has an implosive b that causes an (extremely brief) net inflow of breath. Be linguistically carbon-neutral! Learn and speak Xhosa!

I wouldn't make this comment except it's August.

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