Talk:Dental, alveolar and postalveolar nasals

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I'm not completely certain about ŋ being an allophone of /n/ in words like stink, but it would seem to be the case given that I've heard people pronounce words like the name Hancock with either sound without noticing the difference. Is this a good test for whether sounds are allophones? CyborgTosser (Only half the battle) 09:55, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Not so much an allophone (as the velar nasal is clearly a phoneme in English) but a neutralization of the distinction between the two in that environment. Nasals have a tendency to assimilate to stops, it's a common feature cross-linguistically. 04:42, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Not noticing the difference may also be a sign of free variation. I've noticed that people don't notice the difference between [ŋg] and [ŋ]. We have some "near-rhyme" contrasts (such as singer and finger) but we also have words in free variation (such as hanger) where people use either. I've noticed that most people either don't notice the difference unless it's pointed out to them or who can't tell the difference even when it is. I would even argue that not noticing the difference might be a sign that sounds are not allophones; we would certainly notice if people aspirated the p in spat or didn't turn the 't' in writer to a flap. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 05:38, 1 September 2007 (UTC)

Dental/Alveolar Merge[edit]

I've merged the content from dental nasal here, putting all of the information in one table. This is connected to a discussion at talk:dental nasal#Three tables? that we can either continue here or there. My intention is to work out the chinks in this merge before doing the same for the two dental stops, and the dental lateral. Two important issues in my mind are

  • The title. Alveolar is too specific. I thought about "coronal" though that might be too broad.
  • There isn't a place of articulation prose template for sounds that are either dental or alveolar, I've put a draft of the prose as I think it could be, but we'd eventually want to make that template

Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:28, 9 September 2012 (UTC)

I think we need separate sections. Also, this should stay at alveolar: that's what we link from. — kwami (talk) 18:26, 9 September 2012 (UTC)
At the very least, the various articulations should go into separate tables. Furthermore, I think that the title should reflect it if we make this article about more than just the alveolar nasal itself. --JorisvS (talk) 19:11, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
I suppose we could move to alveolar, dental, and denti-alveolar nasals. I prefer the status quo, however. — kwami (talk) 20:57, 10 September 2012 (UTC)
We could (somewhat spuriously) justify "alveolar" in that it's the prototype given by the IPA. Otherwise, I think we can justify "coronal" with the caveat that we'd have to more explicitly point to the alveolopalatal and retroflex articles. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 03:17, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
Kwami, what is the meaning behind this edit summary? I didn't actually add any new information, so the differences are just about the presentation of the information already at both articles. What is factually wrong? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 12:04, 11 September 2012 (UTC)
The dental nasal is not, AFAICT, a subspecies of alveolar nasal. The place of articulation of alveolar is just alveolar, not alveolar or dental. If we're going to merge, we should have separate sections the way we do for the mid vowels, etc. — kwami (talk) 18:49, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Remember that the map is not the territory and these articles should be oriented towards the latter, not the former. Technically, no sound is a "subspecies" of any other and just about any grouping we do of sounds is going to be artificial. Not only are the dental nasal and alveolar nasals very similar to each other, such that sources aren't always clear about the distinction (much less the dental vs. denti-alveolar distinction that you've recently become a stickler about at Dental nasal) but it's clear that there is a continuum of articulations such that trying to divide them up into dental and alveolar can get problematic, especially if we're trying to talk about crosslinguistic generalizations. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 19:11, 12 September 2012 (UTC)
Agreed, but the word 'alveolar' is not used for dentals, and the word 'dental' is not used for alveolars. The reality may be a continuum, but the terms are discrete, and our articles are organized by those terms. — kwami (talk) 04:03, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
So what about my idea of using "coronal"? — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 12:24, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Articles refer to alveolar stops, not coronals. Per COMMONNAME, IMO we should do the same. If you wish to change that (affecting at least [t, d, n, l, r, ɾ, ɹ, ɬ, ɫ]), then I think it should be discussed first, rather than going to the trouble to convert them all and then have the people who use those articles object. Maybe that's the way to go, but some outside opinion may be illuminating. — kwami (talk) 20:28, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Like I said above, this discussion has implications for many of the alveolar and dental articles. So if we agree that "coronal nasal" would be an appropriate name for an article covering alveolar, dental, and denti-alveolar nasals, then consistency would prompt us to do the same for the other articles. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 20:39, 14 September 2012 (UTC)
Retroflex nasal is coronal as well, so if we rename this article, in my opinion we should also move the retroflex nasal here. Peter238 (talk) 07:19, 26 June 2014 (UTC)

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