Several series of sodali te analogues of unit cell composition M8X2(TO2)12, where M is Zn or Cd, X is a chalcogen, and T is a tetrahedral cation B, or Be in combination with Si or Ge, have been prepared. An M4X tetrahedron, which is the first coordination sphere of the bulk semiconductor MX, sits at the center of each sodalite cage. These materials have been structurally characterized by solid state 77Se and 125STe MAS NMR and by powder X-ray diffraction. Diffuse reflectance optical absorption spectra are reported for each series. The borates have optical properties similar to the bulk MX whereas the beryllosilicates and germanates exhibit large blue shifts in the absorption spectra.