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In
phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of lang ...

phonetics
, a nasal, also called a nasal occlusive or nasal stop in contrast with an oral stop or nasalized consonant, is an
occlusive In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every ...
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians explain how humans produce speech sounds via the interaction of d ...
produced
produced
with a lowered velum, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. The vast majority of consonants are
oral consonant An oral consonant is a consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; ...
s. Examples of nasals in
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
are , and , in words such as ''nose'', ''bring'' and ''mouth''. Nasal occlusives are nearly universal in human languages. There are also other kinds of nasal consonants in some languages.


Definition

Nearly all nasal consonants are nasal occlusives, in which air escapes through the nose but not through the mouth, as it is blocked (occluded) by the lips or tongue. The oral cavity still acts as a resonance chamber for the sound. Rarely, non-occlusive consonants may be
nasalized In phonetics, nasalization (or nasalisation) is the production of a sound while the soft palate, velum is lowered, so that some air escapes through the nose during the production of the sound by the mouth. An archetypal nasal sound is . In the ...
. Most nasals are
voiced Voice or voicing is a term used in phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study th ...
, and in fact, the nasal sounds and are among the most common sounds cross-linguistically. Voiceless nasals occur in a few languages such as Burmese,
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
,
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
and Guaraní. (Compare oral stops, which block off the air completely, and
fricatives Fricatives are consonants manner of articulation, produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two Place of articulation, articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the bac ...
, which obstruct the air with a narrow channel. Both stops and fricatives are more commonly voiceless than voiced, and are known as
obstruentAn obstruent () is a speech sound such as , , or that is formed by ''obstructing'' airflow. Obstruents contrast with sonorant In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant or resonant is a speech sound that is manner of articulation, produced with continuo ...
s.) In terms of acoustics, nasals are
sonorant In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical pro ...
s, which means that they do not significantly restrict the escape of air (as it can freely escape out the nose). However, nasals are also
obstruentAn obstruent () is a speech sound such as , , or that is formed by ''obstructing'' airflow. Obstruents contrast with sonorant In phonetics and phonology, a sonorant or resonant is a speech sound that is manner of articulation, produced with continuo ...
s in their articulation because the flow of air through the mouth is blocked. This duality, a sonorant airflow through the nose along with an obstruction in the mouth, means that nasal occlusives behave both like sonorants and like obstruents. For example, nasals tend to pattern with other sonorants such as and , but in many languages, they may develop from or into stops. Acoustically, nasals have bands of energy at around 200 and 2,000 Hz. 1. The symbol is commonly used to represent the
dental Dental may refer to: * Having to do with teeth * Dentistry, a medical profession dealing with teeth * Dental consonant, in linguistics * Dental Records, an independent UK record label * Dental_hygienist, Dental Hygienist, a person who cleans teeth ...

dental
nasal as well, rather than , as it is rarely distinguished from the
alveolar Alveolus (pl. alveoli, adj. alveolar) is a general anatomical term for a concave cavity or pit. Alveolus may refer to: In anatomy and zoology in general * Pulmonary alveolus A pulmonary alveolus (plural: alveoli, from Latin ''alveolus'', "littl ...

alveolar
nasal. Examples of languages containing nasal occlusives: The voiced retroflex nasal is is a common sound in
Languages of India Languages spoken in India India, officially the Republic of India (: ), is a country in . It is the by area, the country, and the most populous in the world. Bounded by the on the south, the on the southwest, and the on the south ...

Languages of India
. The voiced palatal nasal is a common sound in
European languages Most languages of Europe belong to the Indo-European language family The Indo-European languages are a language family A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech ( spoken language), gestures ...

European languages
, such as:
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
,
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...

French
and
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the people of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps ...

Italian
,
Catalan Catalan may refer to: Catalonia From, or related to Catalonia: * Catalan language, a Romance language * Catalans, an ethnic group formed by the people from, or with origins in, Catalonia * Països Catalans, territories where Catalan is spoken * C ...
and
HungarianHungarian may refer to: * Hungary, a country in Central Europe * Kingdom of Hungary, state of Hungary, existing between 1000 and 1946 * Hungarians, ethnic groups in Hungary * Hungarian algorithm, a polynomial time algorithm for solving the assignmen ...
,
Czech Czech may refer to: * Anything from or related to the Czech Republic The Czech Republic, also known by its short-form name Czechia and formerly known as Bohemia, is a landlocked country in Central Europe. It is bordered by Austria to th ...
and
Slovak Slovak may refer to: * Something from, related to, or belonging to Slovakia (''Slovenská republika'') * Slovaks, a Western Slavic ethnic group * Slovak language, an Indo-European language that belongs to the West Slavic languages * Slovak, Arkans ...
,
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , ...
,
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
and
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
, and (before a vowel)
Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the dialect The term dialect (from Latin , , from the Ancient Greek word , 'discourse', from , 'through' ...
. Many
Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian su ...

Germanic languages
, including
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...

German
,
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
,
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
and
Swedish Swedish or ' may refer to: * Anything from or related to Sweden, a country in Northern Europe * Swedish language, a North Germanic language spoken primarily in Sweden and Finland * Swedish alphabet, the official alphabet used by the Swedish langu ...
, as well as
varieties of Chinese Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, ...
such as
Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat Language * Mandarin Chinese, branch of Chinese spoken in northern and southweste ...
and
Cantonese Cantonese ( zh, t=廣東話, s=广东话, first=t; Yale Yale University is a private Private or privates may refer to: Music * "In Private "In Private" was the third single in a row to be a charting success for United Kingdom, Brit ...

Cantonese
, have , and .
Tamil Tamil may refer to: * Tamils The Tamil people, also known as Tamilar ( ta, தமிழர், Tamiḻar, translit-std=ISO, in the singular or ta, தமிழர்கள், Tamiḻarkaḷ, translit-std=ISO, label=none, in the plural), o ...

Tamil
has a six-fold distinction between , , , , and . The
Nuosu language Nuosu or Nosu (, transcribed as ), also known as Northern Yi, Liangshan Yi, and Sichuan Yi, is the prestige language Prestige refers to a good reputation or high esteem; in earlier usage, ''prestige'' meant "showiness". (19th c.) Prestige ma ...
also contrasts six categories of nasals, , , , , and . They are represented in romanisation by m, n, hm, hn, ny, and ng. Nuosu also contrasts nasalised stops and affricates with their voiced, unvoiced, and aspirated versions. Catalan,
Occitan Occitan (; oc, occitan, link=no ,), also known as ''lenga d'òc'' (; french: langue d'oc) by its native speakers, is a Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evol ...
, Spanish, and Italian have , , as
phoneme In phonology and linguistics, a phoneme is a unit of sound that distinguishes one word from another in a particular language. For example, in most List of dialects of English, dialects of English, with the notable exception of the West Midlan ...
s, and and as allophones. Nevertheless, among many younger speakers of
Rioplatense Spanish Rioplatense Spanish (), also known as Rioplatense Castilian, is a variety Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), ...
, there is no palatal nasal but only a palatalized nasal, , as in English ''canyon''. In
Brazilian Portuguese Brazilian Portuguese (', or ', ) is the set of dialects of the Portuguese language native to Brazil and the most influential form of Portuguese worldwide. It is spoken by almost all of the 200 million inhabitants of Brazil and spoken widely acr ...
and
Angolan Portuguese Angolan Portuguese ( pt, Português de Angola) is a group of dialects and accents of the Portuguese language used mostly in Angola, where it is an official language. In 2005 it was used there by 60% of the population, including by 20% as their f ...
, written , is typically pronounced as , a
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 ...
, a nasal glide (in
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland, officially the Republic of Poland, is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Poland, administrative provinces, covering an area of , ...
, this feature is also possible as an allophone). Semivowels in
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
often nasalize before and always after nasal vowels, resulting in and . What would be
coda Coda or CODA may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Films * ''Coda'' (1987 film), an Australian horror film about a serial killer, made for television * ''Coda'' (2019 film), a Canadian drama film starring Patrick Stewart, Katie Holmes, a ...

coda
nasal occlusives in other
West Iberian languages West Iberian is a branch of the Iberian Romance languages, Ibero-Romance languages that includes the Castilian languages (Spanish language, Spanish, Judaeo-Spanish, Extremaduran language, Extremaduran and Amazonic Spanish, Loreto-Ucayali), Astur-L ...
is only slightly pronounced before
dental consonant A dental consonant is a consonant place of articulation, articulated with the tongue against the upper teeth, such as , , and in some languages. Dentals are usually from sounds in which contact is made with the tongue and the Gingiva, gum rid ...

dental consonant
s. Outside this environment the nasality is spread over the vowel or become a nasal diphthong (''mambembe'' , outside the
final Final, Finals or The Final may refer to: *Final (competition), the last or championship round of a sporting competition, match, game, or other contest which decides a winner for an event ** Another term for playoffs, describing a sequence of cont ...

final
, only in Brazil, and ''mantém'' in all Portuguese dialects). The
Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or ...

Japanese
syllabary kana
syllabary kana
ん, typically romanized as ''n'' and occasionally ''m'', can manifest as one of several different nasal consonants depending on what consonant follows it; this allophone, colloquially written in IPA as , is known as the
moraic nasal A mora (plural ''morae'' or ''moras''; often symbolized μ) is a unit in phonology that describes syllable weight, which in some languages determines stress (linguistics), stress or timing (linguistics), timing. A mora is a sound which comes after ...
, per the language's moraic structure.
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
has a set of voiceless nasals, ̥ ̥and ̊ which occur predominantly as a result of
nasal mutation The morphology Morphology, from the Greek and meaning "study of shape", may refer to: Disciplines *Morphology (archaeology) In archaeology, morphology is the study of the shape of Artifact (archaeology), artefacts and ecofacts. Morphology is ...
of their voiced counterparts ( and . The Mapos Buang language of New Guinea has a phonemic uvular nasal, which contrasts with a velar nasal. It is extremely rare for a language to have as a phoneme. Yanyuwa is highly unusual in that it has a seven-way distinction between ̪ (
palato-alveolar In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of s, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians—linguists who specialize in phonetics—study the physical properties of speech. ...
), ̟( front velar), and ̠( back velar). This may be the only language in existence that contrasts nasals at seven distinct points of articulation. The term 'nasal occlusive' (or 'nasal stop') is generally abbreviated to ''nasal''. However, there are also nasalized fricatives, nasalized flaps,
nasal glide Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough nor with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives Fricatives are cons ...
s, and
nasal vowel A nasal vowel is a vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing syste ...
s, as in French, Portuguese, and Polish. In the
IPA IPA commonly refers to: * India pale ale #REDIRECT India pale ale#REDIRECT India pale ale India pale ale (IPA) is a hoppy beer style within the broader category of pale ale. The style of pale ale which became known is India pale ale was widespr ...
, nasal vowels and nasalized consonants are indicated by placing a tilde (~) over the vowel or consonant in question: French ''sang'' , Portuguese ''bom'' .


Voiceless nasals

A few languages have phonemic voiceless nasal occlusives. Among them are
Icelandic Icelandic refers to anything of, from, or related to Iceland and may refer to: *Icelandic people *Icelandic language *Icelandic alphabet *Icelandic cuisine See also

* Icelander (disambiguation) * Icelandic Airlines, a predecessor of Icelandai ...
,
Faroese Faroese ( ) or Faroish ( ) may refer to anything pertaining to the Faroe Islands, e.g.: *the Faroese language * the Faroese people {{Disambiguation Language and nationality disambiguation pages ...
, Burmese, Jalapa Mazatec,
Kildin Sami Kildin Sami (also known as ''Kola Sámi'', ''Eastern Sámi'', and ''Lappish'', though the last is ambiguous) is a Sámi language spoken on the Kola Peninsula of northwestern Russia that today is and historically was inhabited by this group. G ...
,
Welsh Welsh may refer to: Related to Wales * Welsh, referring or related to Wales * Welsh language, a Brittonic Celtic language of the Indo-European language family, indigenous to the British Isles, spoken in Wales ** Patagonian Welsh, a dialect of Wels ...
, and Central Alaskan Yup'ik. Iaai of New Caledonia has an unusually large number of them, with , along with a number of
voiceless approximant Approximants are phone (phonetics), speech sounds that involve the Speech organ, articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough nor with enough articulatory precision to create manner of articulation, turbulent airflow. Therefore, app ...
s.


Other kinds of nasal consonant

Ladefoged and Maddieson (1996) distinguish purely nasal consonants, the nasal occlusives such as ''m n ng'' in which the airflow is purely nasal, from partial nasal consonants such as
prenasalized consonant Prenasalized consonants are phonetic sequences of a nasal and an obstruentAn obstruent is a speech sound such as , , or that is manner of articulation, formed by ''obstructing'' airflow. Obstruents contrast with sonorants, which have no such obs ...
s and nasal
pre-stopped consonant In linguistics, pre-stopping, also known as pre-occlusion or pre-plosion, is a phonological process involving the historical or allophonic insertion of a very short stop consonant before a sonorant consonant, sonorant, such as a short before a nasa ...
s, which are nasal for only part of their duration, as well as from nasalized consonants, which have simultaneous oral and nasal airflow. In some languages, such as
Portuguese Portuguese may refer to: * anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Portugal ** Portuguese cuisine, traditional foods ** Portuguese language, a Romance language *** Portuguese dialects, variants of the Portuguese language ** Portug ...

Portuguese
, a nasal consonant may have occlusive and non-occlusive
allophone In phonology Phonology is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of e ...
s. In general, therefore, a nasal consonant may be: * a nasal occlusive, such as English ''m, n, ng'' * a
nasal approximant Approximants are phone (phonetics), speech sounds that involve the Speech organ, articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough nor with enough articulatory precision to create manner of articulation, turbulent airflow. Therefore, app ...
, as in ''nh'' in some
Portuguese dialects Portuguese dialects are the mutual intelligibility, mutually intelligible variations of the Portuguese language over Portuguese-speaking countries and other areas holding some degree of cultural bound with the language. Portuguese has two standar ...
* a nasal
flap Flap may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media * ''Flap'' (film), a 1970 American film * Flap, a boss character in the arcade game ''Gaiapolis'' * Flap, a minor character in the film ''Little Nemo: Adventures in Slumberland'' Biology and heal ...
, such as the nasal
retroflex lateral flap The voiced retroflex lateral flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some Speech, spoken languages. The expected symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet is (, or PUA ). The sound may also be transcribed as a short , or with the old dot ...
in
Pashto Pashto (,; / , ), sometimes spelled Pukhto or Pakhto, is an Eastern Iranian languages, Eastern Iranian language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It is known in Persian language, Persian literature as Afghani (, ). Spo ...

Pashto
* prenasalized consonants, pre-stopped nasals and post-stopped nasals *
nasal click Nasal clicks are click consonant Click consonants, or clicks, are speech sounds that occur as consonants In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that h ...
s such as
Zulu Zulu may refer to: Zulu people * Zulu Kingdom or Zulu Empire, a former monarchy in what is now South Africa * Zulu language, a Bantu language spoken in southern Africa * Zulu people, an ethnic group of southern Africa Arts, entertainment, and med ...
''nq, nx, nc'' * other
nasalized In phonetics, nasalization (or nasalisation) is the production of a sound while the soft palate, velum is lowered, so that some air escapes through the nose during the production of the sound by the mouth. An archetypal nasal sound is . In the ...
consonants, such as nasalized fricatives


Languages without nasals

A few languages, perhaps 2%, contain no phonemically distinctive nasals. This led Ferguson (1963) to assume that all languages have at least one primary nasal occlusive. However, there are exceptions.


Lack of phonemic nasals

When a language is claimed to lack nasals altogether, as with several
Niger–Congo languages Niger-Congo is a hypothetical language family A language family is a group of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, based on speech and gesture (spoken language), Signed language, sign, or often Wr ...
These languages lie in a band from western Liberia to southeastern Nigeria, and north to southern Burkina Faso. They include: *Liberia: Kpelle (Mande); Grebo, Klao (Kru) *Burkina Faso: Bwamu (Gur) *Ivory Coast: Dan, Guro-Yaoure, Wan-Mwan, Gban/Gagu, Tura (Mande); Senadi/Senufo (Gur); Nyabwa, Wè (Kru); Ebrié, Avikam, Abure (Kwa) *Ghana: Abron, Akan, Ewe (Kwa) *Benin: Gen, Fon (Kwa) *Nigeria: Mbaise Igbo, Ikwere (Igboid) *CAR: Yakoma (Ubangi) (Heine & Nurse, eds, 2008, ''A Linguistic Geography of Africa'', p.46) or the
Pirahã language Pirahã (also spelled ''Pirahá, Pirahán''), or Múra-Pirahã, is the indigenous language of the isolated Pirahã people of Amazonas, Brazil Amazonas () is a States of Brazil, state of Brazil, located in the North Region, Brazil, North Region ...
of the Amazon, nasal and non-nasal or prenasalized consonants usually alternate allophonically, and it is a theoretical claim on the part of the individual linguist that the nasal is not the basic form of the consonant. In the case of some Niger–Congo languages, for example, nasals occur before only nasal vowels. Since nasal vowels are phonemic, it simplifies the picture somewhat to assume that nasalization in occlusives is allophonic. There is then a second step in claiming that nasal vowels nasalize oral occlusives, rather than oral vowels denasalizing nasal occlusives, that is, whether are phonemically without full nasals, or without prenasalized stops. Postulating underlying oral or prenasalized stops rather than true nasals helps to explain the apparent instability of nasal correspondences throughout Niger–Congo compared with, for example, Indo-European. This analysis comes at the expense, in some languages, of postulating either a single nasal consonant that can only be syllabic, or a larger set of nasal vowels than oral vowels, both typologically odd situations. The way such a situation could develop is illustrated by a
Jukunoid language The Jukunoid languages are a branch of the Benue-Congo languages spoken by the Jukun and related peoples of Nigeria Nigeria (), officially the Federal Republic of Nigeria, is a country in West Africa West Africa or Western Africa ...
,
Wukari Wukari is a Local Government Areas of Nigeria, Local Government Area in Taraba State, Nigeria. Its headquarters is in the town of Wukari on the A4 highway (Nigeria), A4 highway. The Donga River flows through the area and the Benue River forms a b ...
. Wukari allows oral vowels in syllables like ''ba, mba'' and nasal vowels in ''bã, mã'', suggesting that nasals become prenasalized stops before oral vowels. Historically, however, *mb became **mm before nasal vowels, and then reduced to *m, leaving the current asymmetric distribution. In older speakers of the
Tlingit language The Tlingit language ( ; ''Lingít'' ) is spoken by the Tlingit The Tlingit ( or ; also spelled Tlinkit; russian: Тлинкиты) are indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast of North America. Their language is the Tlingit langua ...
, and are allophones. Tlingit is usually described as having an unusual, perhaps unique lack of despite having five lateral obstruents; the older generation could be argued to have but at the expense of having no nasals.


Lack of phonetic nasals

Several of languages surrounding
Puget Sound Puget Sound () is a of the , an inlet of the , and part of the . It is located along the northwestern coast of the of . It is a complex system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and two minor connections to the ope ...
, such as
Quileute The Quileute , also known as the ''Quillayute'' , are a Native Americans in the United States, Native American people in western Washington (state), Washington state in the United States, currently numbering approximately 2,000. They are a feder ...
(Chimakuan family),
Lushootseed Lushootseed (xʷəlšucid, dxʷləšúcid), also Puget Salish, Puget Sound Salish or Skagit-Nisqually is a language made up of a dialect continuum A dialect continuum or dialect chain is a series of language varieties spoken across some geo ...
(Salishan family), and
Makah The Makah (; Klallam Klallam (also Clallam, although the spelling with "K" is preferred in all four modern Klallam communities) refers to four related indigenous Native American/First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ...
(Wakashan family), are truly without any nasalization whatsoever, in consonants or vowels, except in special speech registers such as
baby talk Baby talk is a type of speech associated with an older person speaking to a child. It is also called caretaker speech, infant-directed speech (IDS), child-directed speech (CDS), child-directed language (CDL), caregiver register, parentese, or mo ...
or the archaic speech of mythological figures (and perhaps not even that in the case of Quileute). This is an
areal feature In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
, only a few hundred years old, where nasals became voiced stops ( became , etc.) after colonial contact. For example, "Snohomish" is currently pronounced ''sdohobish'', but was transcribed with nasals in the first English-language records. The only other places in the world where this is known to occur is in Melanesia. In the central dialect of the
Rotokas language Rotokas is a North Bougainville language spoken by about 4,320 people on the island of Bougainville, an island located to the east of New Guinea New Guinea (; Hiri Motu Hiri Motu, also known as Police Motu, Pidgin Motu, or just Hiri, is ...
of Bougainville Island, nasals are only used when imitating foreign accents. (A second dialect has a series of nasals.) The
Lakes Plain languages The Lakes Plain languages are a family In human society, family (from la, familia) is a group of people related either by consanguinity (by recognized birth) or affinity (by marriage or other relationship). The purpose of families is to ...
of West Irian are similar. The unconditioned loss of nasals, as in Puget Sound, is unusual. However, currently in
Korean Korean may refer to: People and culture * Koreans Koreans ( South Korean: , , North Korean: , , ; see names of Korea There are various names of Korea in use today, all derived from ancient kingdoms and dynasties. The modern English name " ...
, word-initial and are shifting to and . This started out in nonstandard dialects and was restricted to the beginning of prosodic units (a common position for
fortition Fortition, also known as strengthening, is a consonantal change that increases the degree of stricture. It is the opposite of the more common lenition In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasse ...
), but has expanded to many speakers of the standard language to the beginnings of common words even within prosodic units.Yoshida, Kenji, 2008. "Phonetic implementation of Korean 'denasalization' and its variation related to prosody". IULC Working Papers, vol. 6.


See also

*
Oral consonant An oral consonant is a consonant In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; ...
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Nasal click Nasal clicks are click consonant Click consonants, or clicks, are speech sounds that occur as consonants In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that h ...
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Nasal vowel A nasal vowel is a vowel A vowel is a syllabicSyllabic may refer to: *Syllable, a unit of speech sound, considered the building block of words **Syllabic consonant, a consonant that forms the nucleus of a syllable *Syllabary, writing syste ...
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Nasalization In phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of eve ...
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List of phonetics topics A * Acoustic phonetics Acoustic phonetics is a subfield of phonetics Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that studies how humans produce and perceive sounds, or in the case of sign languages, the equivalent aspects of sign. Phoneticians ...
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Syllabic consonant A syllabic consonant or vocalic consonant is a consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory phonetics is a subfield of phonetics that studies articulation and ways that humans produce speech. Articulatory phoneticians expla ...


Notes


References


Bibliography

*Ferguson (1963) 'Assumptions about nasals', in Greenberg (ed.) ''Universals of Language'', pp. 50–60. *Saout, J. le (1973) 'Languages sans consonnes nasales', ''Annales de l Université d'Abidjan'', H, 6, 1, 179–205. * Williamson, Kay (1989) 'Niger–Congo overview', in Bendor-Samuel & Hartell (eds.) ''The Niger–Congo Languages'', 3–45. {{Authority control Manner of articulation