# Have ejective consonants ever arisen on their own?

In an old comment on another question, jlawler mentions in passing:

Much the same can be said about ejective consonants -- other languages can pick them up, but nobody knows where they come from. Clicks and ejectives are common in the phonologies of Sprachbunds, and nobody knows where they come from, either.

This took me by surprise, since I would have expected ejectives to arise naturally from e.g. clusters of stops plus [ʔ], or pharyngealized consonants becoming glottalized, and so on.

However, I certainly can't think of any instance of ejectives arising in this way in a language that didn't previously have them.

So—is this comment correct? Are there really no known instances of ejectives developing naturally from non-ejective consonants, rather than spreading in from an adjacent language?

• I'm no Semitic expert, but didn't the ejectives in Amharic, Ge'ez and related languages arise from Proto-semitic emphatics, generally reconstructed as pharyngealized? – Mark Beadles Aug 19 '19 at 20:37
• @MarkBeadles Possibly, but I've also seen the PS emphatics reconstructed as ejectives originally, with the Arabic pharyngeals being the later development. – Draconis Aug 19 '19 at 21:30