I think I understand the ejective consonants, but even after listening to the Wikipedia audio clips, I am not sure I would be able to distinguish them from the corresponding "regular" consonant, like p vs. p'. Would be helpful to have an array of audio clips to compare and contrast them. Reading a bit more on ejective consonants still leaves me in the same position. Maybe a secondary resource in which a person speaks a language with ejective consonants, so I can learn better to distinguish the. A quick YouTube search on Georgian yields this, but I don't hear any ejective consonants lol. Maybe it's because I am just starting. This individual speaking mayan I can hear the ch' ejective consonant sound I think, but that's it so far.

Related note: Same with the labialized consonants, I imagine for just creating a "k" sound with rounded lips, but I can make that same sort of "deeper" sound in other ways anatomically (like just lowering my voice), so I'm not sure I'm doing it right. If the audio clips happened to include distinctions between aspirated and breathy voiced consonants, too, that would be nice, but I think I understand those. Also, if it included clips of contrasting normal/dental, normal/apical, normal/velar, normal/palatal, etc. that would be useful but not necessary for this question. Basically, where the best places are to find audio clips in this area other than Wikipedia.

1 Answer 1


The best reference source is the UCLA phonetics collection, here (you will notice a lot of other interesting sound categories).

I have strong reservations about using Wiki exemplars which are not produced by a person natively uttering words in languages with the sound in question. The bilabial ejective is, in my opinion, misleading in that the performer does correctly control the timing of the release on the labial and glottal closures. It does not sound like ejectives which I have heard in Lushootseed, Tigre, Sotho, Gitonga, Chopi, Chechen, Shua, (Cuzco) Quechua (languages that I've had more extensive contact with). There is a general problem (not limited to ejectives), that good quality recorded material is hard to find. Kichwa, in the Cuzco or Bolivian variants, are is taught frequently enough that there might actually be teaching materials, since the aspiration / ejection contrasts are hard for English speaking students. (Quechua is a language family all called "Quechua" in some form, only some dialects have ejectives; the southernmost dialects are often taught, and they have then. However there is a dearth of audio materials online). This page has some words in Shua, including some ejectives.

  • It makes me download each one, wondering if there is a way to just play it directly in the browser.
    – Lance
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:22
  • The quality of these sound recordings is terrible :/ Wikipedia's are 10x better but still not what I was looking for.
    – Lance
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:24
  • Whoa neat, the /nda/ breathy voice sounds like a galloping horse :)
    – Lance
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:28
  • I'm particularly interested in good resources demonstrating the pronunciation through practice, such as a person who natively speaks the language speaking it, telling a story or something. Some good example of that would be ideal, or a collection of such sound recordings.
    – Lance
    Commented Oct 17, 2018 at 21:29
  • FYI, those Mazatec recordings were taken when the speaker was wearing an airflow mask, which is why it doesn't sound entirely human.
    – user6726
    Commented Oct 19, 2018 at 4:43

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