Voiceless velar nasal

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Voiceless velar nasal

The voiceless velar nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ŋ̊, a combination of the letter for the voiced velar nasal and a diacritic indicating voicelessness. (For reasons of legibility, the ring is usually placed above the letter, rather than regular ŋ̥). The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is N_0.


Features of the voiceless velar nasal:

  • Its manner of articulation is occlusive, which means it is produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract. Because the consonant is also nasal, the blocked airflow is redirected through the nose.
  • Its place of articulation is velar, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the soft palate.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords.
  • 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 intercostal muscles and abdominal muscles, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Alutiiq eqeshngarluni [əqəsŋ̊aχluni] 'sneeze once' See Alutiiq language.
Burmese[1] ငှါး/nga: [ŋ̊á] 'borrow'
Central Alaskan Yup'ik[2] calisteńguciquq [tʃaˈlistəˈŋ̊utʃɪquq] 'he will be a worker'
Faroese[3][4] onkur [ˈɔŋ̊kʰʊɹ] 'anybody' Allophone of /n/ before an aspirated velar. See Faroese phonology
Icelandic[5] banka [ˈpäu̯ŋ̊kä] 'to knock' See Icelandic phonology
Pa Na[6] [ma˧˩.ŋ̊ŋ̍˧˩˧] 'leech'
Washo[7] dewŊétiʔ [dewˈŋ̊etiʔ] 'hillside sloping down'
Welsh[8] fy nghot [və ŋ̊ɔt] 'my coat' Occurs as the nasal mutation of /k/. See Welsh phonology
Xumi Lower[9] [ŋ̊ɑ˦mõ˦] 'camel' Occurs mostly in loanwords from Tibetan.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 111.
  2. ^ Jacobson (1995), p. 3.
  3. ^ Árnason (2011), p. 124.
  4. ^ Þráinsson et al. (2012), p. ?.
  5. ^ Árnason (2011), p. 109.
  6. ^ Chen (2001), p. 72.
  7. ^ Jacobsen (1964), p. 54.
  8. ^ Jones (1984), p. 51.
  9. ^ a b Chirkova & Chen (2013), pp. 365, 367.


  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4
  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya (2013), "Xumi, Part 1: Lower Xumi, the Variety of the Lower and Middle Reaches of the Shuiluo River" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (3): 363–379, doi:10.1017/S0025100313000157[permanent dead link]
  • Jacobson, Steven (1995), A Practical Grammar of the Central Alaskan Yup'ik Eskimo Language, Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center, ISBN 978-1-55500-050-9
  • Jones, Glyn E. (1984), "The distinctive vowels and consonants of Welsh", in Martin J. Ball and Glyn E. Jones (ed.), Welsh Phonology: Selected Readings, Cardiff: University of Wales Press, pp. 40–64, ISBN 0-7083-0861-9
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4.
  • Þráinsson, Höskuldur; Petersen, Hjalmar P.; Jacobsen, Jógvan í Lon; Hansen, Zakaris Svabo (2012), Faroese – An Overview and Reference Grammar, Tórshavn: Føroya fróðskaparfelag, ISBN 9789991841854
  • Chen, Qiguang [陈其光]. 2001. "A Brief Introduction of Bana Language [巴那语概况]". Minzu Yuwen.
  • Jacobsen, William Horton (15 August 1964). A grammar of the Washo language (PhD). University of California, Berkeley – via eScholarship.

External links[edit]