Nasal palatal approximant

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Nasal palatal approximant

The nasal palatal approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some oral languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is , that is, a j with a tilde. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is j~, and in the Americanist phonetic notation it is .

The nasal palatal approximant is sometimes called a nasal yod; [j̃] and [w̃] may be called nasal glides.

Transcriptions using may actually intend a non-syllabic nasal vowel, [ĩ̯] (that is, the second element of a diphthong), as in Portuguese, or be ambiguous between the two.

Features[edit]

Features of the nasal palatal approximant:

  • Its manner of articulation is approximant, which means it is produced by narrowing the vocal tract at the place of articulation, but not enough to produce a turbulent airstream.
  • Its place of articulation is palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to the hard palate.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. However, in some languages (like Swiss German) it can just mean that this consonant is pronounced shorter and weaker than its voiceless counterpart, while its voicedness or lack thereof is not relevant. In such cases it's more accurate to call such sounds lenis or lax.
  • It is a nasal consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the nose, either exclusively (nasal stops) or in addition to through the mouth.
  • It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.

Occurrence[edit]

[j̃], written ny, is a common realization of /j/ before nasal vowels in many languages of West Africa which do not have a phonemic distinction between voiced nasal and oral stops, such as Ewe and Bini.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Hindi[1] संयम [səj̃jəm] 'patience'

Allophone of /ɲ/ before [j]. See Hindi-Urdu phonology

Polish[2] koń [kɔj̃] 'horse'

Allophone of /ɲ/ in coda position or before fricatives. See Polish phonology

Portuguese Brazilian[3] sonho [ˈsõj̃ʊ] 'dream' Allophone of /ɲ/ between vowels, nasalizes the preceding vowel. Language's original /ɲ/ sound.[4][5] See Portuguese phonology
Most dialects[6] es [kɐ̃ĩ̯s] 'dogs' Non-syllabic allophone of /i/ after nasal vowels, or between nasal occlusives and nasal vowels. Brazilian dialects that have [ɪ] prefer [ɪ̯̃] when in coda position.[7]
Some dialects[4] me ame! [ˈmj̃ɐ̃mi] 'love me!'

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Barbosa, Plínio A.; Albano, Eleonora C. (2004), "Brazilian Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (2): 227–232, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001756 
  • Canepari, Luciano (2005), "Hindi", A Handbook of Pronunciation, Lincom Europa, p. 335 
  • Gussman, Edmund (2007), The Phonology of Polish, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-926747-7 
  • Mattos e Silva, Rosa (1991), O Português arcaico – fonologia, Contexto 
  • Perini, Mário Alberto (2002), Modern Portuguese (A Reference Grammar), New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-09155-7 
  • Vigário, Marina (2003), The Prosodic Word in European Portuguese, De Gruyter Mouton, ISBN 978-3-11-017713-8 

Further reading[edit]

  • Shosted; Hualde (2010), (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory volume 315) Romance Linguistics 2009: Selected Papers from the 39th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Tucson, Arizona, March 2009, John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 43–61, ISBN 978-90-272-4833-6