Dental, alveolar and postalveolar nasals

Alveolar nasal
n
IPA Number116
Encoding
Entity (decimal)n
Unicode (hex)U+006E
X-SAMPAn
Braille⠝ (braille pattern dots-1345)
Audio sample

The alveolar nasal is a type of consonantal sound used in numerous spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents dental, alveolar, and postalveolar nasals is ⟨n⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is n.

The vast majority of languages have either an alveolar or dental nasal. There are a few languages that lack either sound but have [m] (e.g. colloquial Samoan). There are some languages (e.g. Rotokas) that lack both [m] and [n].

True dental consonants are relatively uncommon. In the Romance, Dravidian, and Australian languages, n is often called "dental" in the literature. However, the rearmost contact (which is what gives a consonant its distinctive sound) is actually alveolar or denti-alveolar. The difference between the Romance languages and English is not so much where the tongue contacts the roof of the mouth, as which part of the tongue makes the contact. In English it is the tip of the tongue (such sounds are termed apical), whereas in the Romance languages it is the flat of the tongue just above the tip (such sounds are called laminal).

However, there are languages with true apical (or less commonly laminal) dental n. It is found in the Mapuche language of South America, where it is actually interdental. A true dental generally occurs allophonically before /θ/ in languages which have it, as in English tenth. Similarly, a denti-alveolar allophone will occur in languages which have denti-alveolar stops, as in Spanish cinta.

Some languages contrast laminal denti-alveolar and apical alveolar nasals. For example, in the Malayalam pronunciation of Nārāyanan, the first n is dental, the second is retroflex, and the third alveolar.

A postalveolar nasal occurs in a number of Australian Aboriginal languages, including Djeebbana and Jingulu.[1]

Features

Features of the alveolar 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.
  • There are four specific variants of [n]:
    • Dental, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the upper teeth, termed respectively apical and laminal.
    • Denti-alveolar, which means it is articulated with the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, and the tip of the tongue behind upper teeth.
    • Alveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, termed respectively apical and laminal.
    • Postalveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, termed respectively apical and laminal.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • 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

Dental or denti-alveolar

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Belarusian[2]новы[ˈn̪ovɨ]'new'Laminal denti-alveolar. Contrasts with palatalized form. See Belarusian phonology
Bulgarian[3]жена[ʒɛˈn̪a]'woman'Laminal denti-alveolar.
Catalan[4]cantar[kən̪ˈt̪ä]'to sing'Laminal denti-alveolar. Allophone of /n/ before /t, d/.[4] See Catalan phonology
DutchBelgiannicht[n̻ɪxt̻]'niece'Laminal denti-alveolar, sometimes simply alveolar. See Dutch phonology
Englishmonth[mʌn̪θ]'month'Interdental. Allophone of /n/ before /θ, ð/.
EsperantoEsperanto[espeˈranto]'Who hopes'See Esperanto phonology
French[5]connexion[kɔn̻ɛksjɔ̃]'connection'Laminal denti-alveolar, sometimes simply alveolar. See French phonology
Greek[6]άνθος/ánthos[ˈɐn̪θo̞s]'flower'Interdental. Allophone of /n/. See Modern Greek phonology
Hindustaniया / نیا[n̪əjaː]'new'See Hindi–Urdu phonology
Hungarian[7]nagyi[ˈn̪ɒɟi]'grandma'Laminal denti-alveolar. See Hungarian phonology
Italian[8][9]cantare[kän̪ˈt̪äːre]'to sing'Laminal denti-alveolar.[9] Allophone of /n/ before /t, d, s, z, t͡s, d͡z/.[8][9] See Italian phonology
Kashubian[10][example needed]Laminal denti-alveolar.
Kazakhкөрінді/ko'rindi[kœɾɪn̪d̪ɪ]'it seemed'Laminal denti-alveolar. Allophone of /n/ before /t, d/.
Kyrgyzбеделинде[be̞d̪e̞lin̪d̪e̞]'in the authority'Laminal denti-alveolar. Allophone of /n/ before /t, d/.
Latvian[11]nakts[n̪äkt̪s̪]'night'Laminal denti-alveolar. See Latvian phonology
Macedonian[12]нос[n̪o̞s̪]'nose'Laminal denti-alveolar. See Macedonian phonology
Malayalam[13]പന്നി[pən̪n̪i]'pig'Interdental for some speakers.
Mapudungun[14]a[mɘ̝ˈn̪ɐ̝]'male cousin on father's side'Interdental.[14]
Marathi[n̪əkʰə]'fingernail'See Marathi phonology
Polish[15]nos[n̪ɔs̪]'nose'Laminal denti-alveolar. Alveolar before /t͡ʂ, d͡ʐ/. See Polish phonology
PortugueseGeneral[16][17]narina[n̻ɐˈɾin̻ɐ]'nostril'Laminal denti-alveolar. May nasalize preceding vowel (especially if stressed). Has [ɲ̟] as allophone, forming from clusters with [j], and before /i/.
Vernacular Paulista[18][19]percebendo[pe̞ʁse̞ˈbẽn̻u]'perceiving'Laminal denti-alveolar. Allophone of /d/ after a stressed nasal vowel in more stigmatized varieties. See Portuguese phonology
Romanian[20]alună[äˈlun̪ə]'hazelnut'Laminal denti-alveolar. See Romanian phonology
Russianнаш[n̪ɑʂ]'our'Laminal denti-alveolar, contrasts with palatalized form. See Russian phonology
Serbo-Croatianстудент / student[s̪t̪ǔd̪e̞n̪t̪]'student'Laminal denti-alveolar. Allophone of /n/ before /t, d, s, z, t͡s/. See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Sloveneamarant[amaˈɾaːn̪t̪]'amaranth'Laminal denti-alveolar. Allophone of /n/ before /t, d, s, z, t͡s/. See Slovene phonology
SpanishMost dialectscantar[kän̪ˈt̪är]'to sing'Laminal denti-alveolar. Allophone of /n/ before /t, d/. See Spanish phonology
Ukrainian[21]наш[n̪ɑʃ]'our'Laminal denti-alveolar, contrasts with palatalized form. See Ukrainian phonology
Uzbek[22][example needed]Laminal denti-alveolar.

Alveolar

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Adygheнэфнэ[nafna]'light'
ArabicStandardنار[naːr]'fire'See Arabic phonology
Assyrian Neo-Aramaicnora[noɾaː]'mirror'
Basqueni[ni]'I'
Bengaliনাক[naːk]'nose'See Bengali phonology
Catalan[23]nou[ˈnɔw]'new'See Catalan phonology
ChineseMandarin/nán[nan˧˥]'difficult'See Mandarin phonology
Czechna[na]'on'See Czech phonology
Dutch[24]nacht[nɑxt]'night'See Dutch phonology
EnglishniceAbout this sound[naɪs]'nice'See English phonology
Filipinonipis[nipis]'thin'Filipino phonology
Finnishannan[ˈɑnːɑn]'I give'See Finnish phonology
Georgian[25]კა[ˈkʼɑni]'skin'
Greekνάμα/náma[ˈnama]'communion wine'See Modern Greek phonology
Gujaratiહી[nəhi]'no'See Gujarati phonology
Hawaiian[26]naka[naka]'to shake'See Hawaiian phonology
Hebrewנבון[navon]'wise'See Modern Hebrew phonology
Italian[27]nano[ˈnäːno]'dwarf'See Italian phonology
Japanese[28]反対/hantai[hantai]'opposite'See Japanese phonology
Korean/na[na]'I'See Korean phonology
Kyrgyz[29]банан[baˈnan]'banana'
Malaynasi[näsi]'cooked rice'
Malayalam[13]കന്നി[kənni]'virgin'
Malteselenbuba[lenbuˈba]'truncheon'
Mapudungun[14]na[mɘ̝ˈnɐ̝]'enough'
NgweMmockngie dialect[nøɣə̀]'sun'
Persianنون[nun]'bread'
Pirahãgíxai[níˈʔàì̯]'you'
Polish[15]poncz[ˈpɔn̥t͡ʂ]'punch'Allophone of /n/ (which is normally laminal denti-alveolar []) before /t͡ʂ, d͡ʐ/. See Polish phonology
Punjabiਨੱਕ[nəkː]'nose'
Slovakna[nä]'on'
Slovene[30]novice[nɔˈʋìːt̪͡s̪ɛ]'news'
Spanish[31]nada[ˈnäð̞ä]'nothing'See Spanish phonology
Swahilindizi[n̩dizi]'banana'
Turkishneden[ne̞d̪æn]'reason'See Turkish phonology
Vietnamese[32]bạn đi[ɓan˧ˀ˨ʔ ɗi]'you're going'Occurs only before alveolar consonants. See Vietnamese phonology
Welshnain[nain]'grandmother'See Welsh phonology
Western ApachenonAbout this sound[nòn] 'cache'
West Frisiannekke[ˈnɛkə]'neck'
Yi/na[na˧ ]'hurt'
ZapotecTilquiapan[33]nanɨɨ[nanɨˀɨ]'lady'contrasts with a fortis alveolar nasal that is not represented in the orthography.

Postalveolar

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
Catalan[4]panxa['pän̠ɕə][34]'belly'Allophone of /n/ before /ʃ, ʒ, t͡ʃ, d͡ʒ/, may be alveolo-palatal instead.[4] See Catalan phonology
Djeebbana[35]barnmarramarlón̠a[ban̠maramal̠ɔn̪a]'they two swam'Result of rhotic plus alveolar [n].[35]
EnglishAustralian[36]enrol[əṉˈɹ̠ɔo̯ɫ]'enrol'Allophone of /n/ before /r/.[36] See Australian English phonology
Italian[37]angelo[ˈän̠ʲːd͡ʒelo]'angel'Palatalized laminal; allophone of /n/ before /ʃ, t͡ʃ, d͡ʒ/.[37] See Italian phonology

Variable

LanguageWordIPAMeaningNotes
EnglishScottish[38]nice[nəis]'nice'

Laminal denti-alveolar for some speakers, alveolar for other speakers.[38][39]

Welsh[39]
GermanStandard[40]Lanze[ˈlant͡sə]'lance'Varies between laminal denti-alveolar, laminal alveolar and apical alveolar.[40] See Standard German phonology
NorwegianUrban East[41]mann[mɑn̻ː]'man'Varies between laminal denti-alveolar and laminal alveolar.[41] See Norwegian phonology
SwedishCentral Standard[42]nu[nʉ̟ː]'now'Varies between laminal denti-alveolar and alveolar, with the former being predominant.[42] See Swedish phonology

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Chadwick, Neil J. (1975). A descriptive study of the Djingili language. Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies.
  2. ^ Padluzhny (1989), pp. 49–50.
  3. ^ Klagstad Jr. (1958), p. 46.
  4. ^ a b c d Rafel (1999), p. 14.
  5. ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993), p. 73.
  6. ^ Arvaniti (2007), p. 15.
  7. ^ Siptár & Törkenczy (2000), pp. 75–76.
  8. ^ a b Bertinetto & Loporcaro (2005), p. 133.
  9. ^ a b c Canepari (1992), p. 58.
  10. ^ Jerzy Treder. "Fonetyka i fonologia". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  11. ^ Nau (1998), p. 6.
  12. ^ Lunt (1952), p. 1.
  13. ^ a b Ladefoged (2005), p. 165.
  14. ^ a b c Sadowsky et al. (2013), pp. 88–89.
  15. ^ a b Rocławski (1976), p. 136.
  16. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  17. ^ Barbosa & Albano (2004), p. 230.
  18. ^ Archived 2012-12-31 at Archive.today
  19. ^ The deletting of /d/ in the morpheme of the gerund in São José do Rio Preto's accent – PDF
  20. ^ Chițoran (2001), p. 10.
  21. ^ Danyenko & Vakulenko (1995), p. 10.
  22. ^ Sjoberg (1963), p. 12.
  23. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992), p. 53.
  24. ^ Gussenhoven (1992), p. 45.
  25. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006), p. 255.
  26. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 139.
  27. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 117.
  28. ^ Okada (1999), p. 117.
  29. ^ Kara (2003), p. 11.
  30. ^ Pretnar & Tokarz (1980), p. 21.
  31. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003), p. 255.
  32. ^ Thompson (1959), pp. 458–461.
  33. ^ Merrill (2008), p. 108.
  34. ^ Valencian pronunciation: ['pän̠t͡ɕä]. Note that what's transcribed /ʃ, ʒ, t͡ʃ, d͡ʒ/ in Catalan are actually alveolo-palatal sibilants [ɕ, ʑ, t͡ɕ, d͡ʑ].
  35. ^ a b Dixon (2002), p. 585.
  36. ^ a b Mannell, Cox & Harrington (2009).
  37. ^ a b Canepari (1992), pp. 58–59.
  38. ^ a b Scobbie, Gordeeva & Matthews (2006), p. 4.
  39. ^ a b Wells (1982), p. 388.
  40. ^ a b Mangold (2005), p. 49.
  41. ^ a b Kristoffersen (2000), p. 22.
  42. ^ a b Riad (2014), p. 46.

References

External links