Skip to main content Accessibility help

Hausa glottalic consonants: a laryngographic study1

  • Geoffrey Lindsey (a1), Katrina Hayward (a2) and Andrew Haruna (a3)


The Chadic (Afroasiatic) language Hausa, spoken mainly in Nigeria and the Republic of Niger, has a series of ‘glottalic’ obstruents. This includes both ejectives ([k’], [s’] or [ts’]; orthographic κ, ts) and two other consonants which have often been described as ‘implosives’ and are represented by the IPA symbols for implosives in Hausa orthography (б, d). In addition, there is a ‘laryngealized’ palatal glide (orthographic ‘y). The description of orthographic б, d as implosive has been called into question, however. Ladefoged, in his well-known work on the phonetics of West African languages (Ladefoged (1964: 16)), suggested that, while these sounds may on occasion show the ingressive air flow characteristic of implosives, their most consistent characteristic is a distinctive mode of vocal fold vibration (phonation type) known as creaky voice or laryngealization; thus, Hausa б and d should be labelled ‘laryngealized stops’ rather than ‘implosives’. One implication of this change in descriptive label is that, at least from a phonetic point of view, б and d should be grouped with ‘y.



Hide All
Abberton, E. 1972. ‘Laryngographic data for Korean stops’, Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 2(2), 6778.
Baken, R. J. 1987. Clinical measurement of speech and voice. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Carnochan, J. 1953. ‘Glottalization in Hausa’, Transactions of the Philological Society, 1952, 78109.
Davies, P.Lindsey, G.Fuller, H. and Fourcin, A. 1986. ‘Variation in glottal open and closed phases for speakers of English’, Proceedings of the Institute of Acoustics, 8(7), 539–46.
Fujimura, O (ed.). 1988. Vocal physiology: voice production, mechanisms, and functions. (Vocal Fold Physiology Series, 2.) New York: Raven Press.
Greenberg, J. H. 1941. ‘Some problems in Hausa phonology’, Language, 17, 326–33.
Haruna, A. 1990. ‘The glottalic consonants of Hausa’. Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of London.
Hayward, K. 1992. Phonation types seen by fibreoptic laryngoscopy: Hausa, Koren, and Gujurati. (Video.)
Ladefoged, P. 1964. A phonetic study of West African languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Ladefoged, P. 1973. ‘The features of the larynx’, Journal of Phonetics, 1, 7383.
Ladefoged, P. 1982. A course in phonetics (2nd edition). New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Ladefoged, P. 1988. ‘Discussion of phonetics: a note on some terms far phonation types’, in Fujimura (1988), 373–5.
Ladefoged, P, Maddieson, I. and Jackson, M. 1988. ‘Investigating phonation types in different languages’, in Fujimura (1988), 297317.
Lindau, M. 1984. ‘Phonetic differences in glottalic consonants’, Journal of Phonetics, 12, 147–55.
Meyers, L. 1976. Aspects of Hausa tone. (UCLA Working Papers in Phonetics, 32.)
Scherer, R. C, Druker, D. G. and Titze, I. R. 1988. ‘Electroglottography and direct measurement of vocal fold contact area’, in Fujimura (1988), 279–91.

Hausa glottalic consonants: a laryngographic study1

  • Geoffrey Lindsey (a1), Katrina Hayward (a2) and Andrew Haruna (a3)


Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.