|Voiced retroflex click|
|Retroflex nasal click|
The retroflex clicks are a family of click consonants known only from the Central !Kung dialects of Namibia and (as a voiced nasal click only) the Damin ritual jargon of Australia, though it's not known if the later was phonemically distinct. They are sub-apical retroflex and should not be confused with the more widespread postalveolar clicks, which are sometimes mistakenly called "retroflex" (for example in Unicode) due to their concave tongue shape.
There is no official symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the forward articulation of these sounds, and the expected symbol ⟨ǃ̢̢⟩ is rarely seen.[scheduled for Unicode support in 2021] In the literature they are typically written with the ad hoc digraph ⟨‼⟩, the convention since Doke identified them as retroflex in 1926. (Doke's proposed symbol, ⟨ψ⟩, did not catch on, nor did Vedder's and Anders' ⟨⦀⟩. For a while Amanda Miller, who noted a lateral fricated release (as had Vedder), transcribed them ⟨ǃǁ⟩.)
(For Damin, the retroflex nasal click, which may or may not be similar to the clicks of Central !Kung, was transcribed by Hale & Nash as ⟨rn!⟩.)
Basic retroflex clicks are:
|Trans. I||Trans. II||Trans. III||Description|
|⟨k͜‼⟩||⟨ᵏ‼⟩||⟨‼⟩||tenuis retroflex click|
|⟨k͜‼ʰ⟩||⟨ᵏ‼ʰ⟩||⟨‼ʰ⟩||aspirated retroflex click|
|⟨ɡ͜‼⟩||⟨ᶢ‼⟩||⟨‼̬⟩||voiced retroflex click|
|⟨ŋ͜‼⟩||⟨ᵑ‼⟩||⟨‼̃⟩||retroflex nasal click|
|⟨ŋ͜‼̥ʰʰ⟩||⟨ᵑ‼̥ʰʰ⟩||⟨‼̥̃ʰʰ⟩||aspirated retroflex nasal click|
|⟨ŋ͜‼ˀ⟩||⟨ᵑ‼ˀ⟩||⟨‼̃ˀ⟩||glottalized retroflex nasal click|
|⟨q͜‼⟩||⟨q‼⟩||tenuis retroflex click|
|⟨q͜‼ʰ⟩||⟨q‼ʰ⟩||aspirated retroflex click|
|⟨ɢ͜‼⟩||⟨ɢ‼⟩||voiced retroflex click|
|⟨ɴ͜‼⟩||⟨ᶰ‼⟩||retroflex nasal click|
|⟨ɴ͜‼̥ʰʰ⟩||⟨ᶰ‼̥ʰʰ⟩||aspirated retroflex nasal click|
|⟨ɴ͜‼ˀ⟩||⟨ᶰ‼ˀ⟩||glottalized retroflex nasal click|
Features of postalveolar clicks:
As with other click articulations, retroflex clicks may be produced with various manners. An example is the voiced retroflex click in the Grootfontein !Kung (Central Juu) word for 'water', /‼̬ˡú/ (g‼ú).
Damin is the only other language known to have had such a sound, though only the nasal click occurred.