|IPA Number||177, 201|
|Unicode (hex)||U+01C0 U+0287|
|Voiced dental click|
|Dental nasal click|
The tut-tut! (British spelling, "tutting") or tsk! tsk! (American spelling, "tsking") sound used to express disapproval or pity is a dental click, although, in this context, it is not a phoneme (a sound component of a larger word).
The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the place of articulation of these sounds is ⟨?⟩, a vertical bar. Prior to 1989, ⟨?⟩ was the IPA letter for the dental clicks. It is still occasionally used where the symbol ⟨?⟩ would be confounded with other symbols, such as prosody marks, or simply because in many fonts the vertical bar is indistinguishable from an el or capital i. Either letter may be combined with a second letter to indicate the manner of articulation, though this is commonly omitted for tenuis clicks, and increasingly a diacritic is used instead. Common dental clicks are:
|IPA I||IPA II||Description|
|⟨?⟩ or ⟨?⟩||Tenuis dental click|
|⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩||Aspirated dental click|
|⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩||⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩||Voiced dental click|
|⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩||⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩||Dental nasal click|
|⟨?⟩ or ⟨?⟩||⟨?⟩ or ⟨?⟩||Aspirated dental nasal click|
|⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩||⟨⟩ or ⟨⟩||Glottalized dental nasal click|
The last is what is heard in the sound sample at right, as non-native speakers tend to glottalize clicks to avoid nasalizing them.
In the orthographies of individual languages, the letters and digraphs for dental clicks may be based on either the vertical bar symbol of the IPA, ⟨?⟩, or on the Latin ⟨c⟩ of Bantu convention. Nama and most Saan languages use the former; Naro, Sandawe, and Zulu use the latter.
Features of dental clicks:
Dental clicks are common in Khoisan languages and the neighboring Nguni languages, such as Zulu and Xhosa. In the Nguni languages, the tenuis click is denoted by the letter c, the murmured click by gc, the aspirated click by ch, and the nasal click by nc. The prenasalized clicks are written ngc and nkc.
The Cushitic language Dahalo has four clicks, all of them nasalized: [, , ?, ].
Dental clicks may also be used para-linguistically. For example, English speakers use a plain dental click, usually written tsk or tut (and often reduplicated tsk-tsk or tut-tut; these spellings often lead to spelling pronunciations /t?sk/ or /t?t/), as an interjection to express commiseration, disapproval, irritation, or to call a small animal. German (ts or tss), Hungarian (cöccögés), Portuguese (tsc), Russian (ts-ts-ts; sound file) Spanish (ts) and French (t-t-t-t) speakers use the dental click in exactly the same way as English.
The dental click is also used para-linguistically Middle Eastern languages such as Arabic, Hebrew, Pashto, and Persian where it is transcribed as ''/'noch' and is also used as a negative response to a "yes or no" question (including Dari and Tajiki). It is also used in some languages spoken in regions closer to, or in, Europe, such as Turkish, Albanian, Greek, Bulgarian, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Romanian or Serbian and Croatian to denote a negative response to a "yes or no" question. The dental click is sometimes accompanied by an upward motion of the head.
|Zulu||icici||[i:?í:?i] = [i:?í:?i]||earring|
|ukuchaza||[ú?u'á:za?] = [ú?u'á:za?]||to fascinate|
|isigcino||[ísi:no] = [ísi:no]||end|
|incwancwa||[iwá:wa] = [iwá:wa]||sour corn meal|
|ingcosi||[i:si] = [i:si]||a bit|
|Hadza||cinambo||[?inambo] = [?inambo]||firefly|
|cheta||[eta] = [eta]||to be happy|
|minca||[mia] = [mia]||to smack one's lips|
|tacce||[tae] = [tae]||rope|
|Khoekhoe||?gurub||[?p] = [?p]||dry autumn leaves|
|?nam||[?n?m?] = [m?]||to love|
|?Hgaeb||[ò?àè?p] = [ò?àè?p]||November|
|?oro?oro||[òò] = [òò]||to wear s.t. out|
|?khore||[ò?e?] = [ò?e?]||to divine, prophesize|