Ejective sounds are made using the ejective airstream mechanism. For example, an ejective [t'] is made by:

  1. making an alveolar closure and closing the vocal folds. (This traps air between the two closures.)
  2. raising the larynx in the throat. (Since the larynx houses the vocal folds, which are still closed, this causes the trapped air to occupy less volume and raises its pressure.)
  3. releasing the alveolar closure. (The pressurized air rushes out much more forcefully than in a normal [t].)
  4. finally opening the vocal folds again.

Because the vocal folds are closed until the end of the sound, ejectives are always voiceless. (For similar reasons, ejectives can never be nasal.)


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