nasalization
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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. The field of phon ...

phonetics
, nasalization (or nasalisation) is the production of a sound while the 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
International Phonetic Alphabet The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is an alphabet An alphabet is a standardized set of basic written symbols A symbol is a mark, sign, or word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest seq ...
, nasalization is indicated by printing a
tilde The tilde (
in the American Heritage dictionary
), or , is a

tilde
diacritic above the symbol for the sound to be nasalized: is the nasalized equivalent of , and is the nasalized equivalent of . A subscript diacritic , called an
ogonek 100px, Ogonek The ( Polish: , "little tail", the diminutive of ; lt, nosinė, "nasal") is a diacritic A diacritic (also diacritical mark, diacritical point, diacritical sign, or accent) is a glyph added to a letter or basic glyph. The t ...

ogonek
or ''nosinė'', is sometimes seen, especially when the vowel bears
tone Tone may refer to: Color-related * Tone, mix of tint and shade, in painting and color theory * Tone, the lightness In colorimetry and color theory, lightness, also known as value or tone, is a representation of a color's brightness. It is ...
marks that would interfere with the superscript tilde. For example, are more legible in most fonts than .


Nasal vowels

Many languages have nasal
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 system using symbols for syllables * ...

vowel
s to different degrees, but only a minority of world languages around the world have nasal vowels as contrasting phonemes. That is the case, among others, of ,
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
,
Hindustani Hindustani may refer to: * something of, from, or related to Hindustan (another name of India) * Hindustani language, an Indo-Aryan language, whose two official norms are Hindi and Urdu * Fiji Hindi, a variety of Eastern Hindi spoken in Fiji, and i ...
, ,
Breton Breton most often refers to: *anything associated with Brittany Brittany (; french: link=no, Bretagne ; br, Breizh, or ; Gallo language, Gallo: ''Bertaèyn'' ) is a peninsula and cultural region in the west of France, covering the western part ...
,
Gheg Albanian Gheg (also spelled Geg; Gheg Albanian: ''gegnisht'', Standard Albanian: ''gegë'' or ''gegërisht'') is one of the two major varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a sy ...
,
Hmong Hmong may refer to: * Hmong people The Hmong people ( RPA: ''Hmoob'', Nyiakeng Puachue: "𞄀𞄩𞄰", Pahawh Hmong: "𖬌𖬣𖬵" ) are an ethnic group living mainly in southern China, Vietnam , image_map = , map ...
,
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
, Yoruba, and
Cherokee The Cherokee (; chr, ᎠᏂᏴᏫᏯᎢ, translit=Aniyvwiyaʔi, or chr, ᏣᎳᎩ, links=no, translit=Tsalagi) are one of the indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands of the United States. Prior to the 18th century, they were concentr ...
. Those nasal vowels contrast with their corresponding
oral vowel A nasal vowel is a vowel that is produced with a lowering of the soft palate (or velum) so that the air flow escapes through the Human nose, nose and the human mouth, mouth simultaneously, as in the French language, French vowel or Amoy diale ...
s. Nasality is usually seen as a binary feature, although surface variation in different degrees of nasality caused by neighboring
nasal consonant 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 ...
s has been observed.


Degree of nasality

There are occasional languages, such as in
Palantla Chinantec Palantla Chinantec, also known as ''Chinanteco de San Pedro Tlatepuzco'', is a major Chinantecan language of Mexico, spoken in San Juan Palantla and a couple dozen neighboring towns in northern Oaxaca. The variety of San Mateo Yetla, known as Valle ...
, where vowels seem to exhibit three contrastive degrees of nasality: oral e.g. vs lightly nasalized vs heavily nasalized , although Ladefoged and Maddieson believe that the lightly nasalized vowels are best described as oro-nasal
diphthong A diphthong ( ; , ), also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel A vowel is a Syllable, syllabic speech sound pronounced without any stricture in the vocal tract. Vowels are one of the two principal classes of spe ...
s. Note that Ladefoged and Maddieson's transcription of heavy nasalization with a double tilde might be confused with the
extIPA The extensions to the International Phonetic Alphabet, also extIPA symbols for disordered speech or simply extIPA , are a set of letters and diacritics devised by the International Clinical Phonetics and Linguistics Association to augment the Int ...

extIPA
adoption of that diacritic for
velopharyngeal frication A velopharyngeal fricative, also known as a posterior nasal fricative or a velopharyngeal snort, is a sound produced by some children with speech disorders, including some with a cleft palate Cleft lip and cleft palate, also known as orofacia ...
.


Nasal consonants

By far the most common nasal sounds are
nasal consonant 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 ...
s such as , or . Most nasal consonants are occlusives, and airflow through the mouth is blocked and redirected through the nose. Their oral counterparts are the stops.


Nasalized consonants

Nasalized versions of other consonant sounds also exist but are much rarer than either nasal occlusives or nasal vowels. The
Middle Chinese Middle Chinese (formerly known as Ancient Chinese) or the Qieyun system (QYS) is the historical variety of recorded in the ', a first published in 601 and followed by several revised and expanded editions. The Swedish linguist believed that t ...
consonant In articulatory phonetics The field of articulatory 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 sig ...
(; in modern Standard Chinese) has an odd history; for example, it has evolved into and (or and respectively, depending on accents) in Standard Chinese; / and in
Hokkien Hokkien () is a Southern Min Southern Min (), Minnan (Mandarin Mandarin may refer to: * Mandarin (bureaucrat), a bureaucrat of Imperial China (the original meaning of the word) ** by extension, any senior government bureaucrat A bureaucr ...
; / and / while borrowed into Japan. It seems likely that it was once a nasalized fricative, perhaps a palatal . In Coatzospan Mixtec, fricatives and affricates are nasalized before nasal vowels even when they are voiceless. In the Hupa language, Hupa, the velar nasal often has the tongue not make full contact, resulting in a nasalized approximant, . That is cognate with a Nasal palatal approximant, nasalized palatal approximant in other Athabaskan languages. In Umbundu language, Umbundu, phonemic contrasts with the (allophone, allophonically) nasalized approximant and so is likely to be a true fricative rather than an approximant. In Old Irish, Old and Middle Irish, the lenition, lenited was a nasalized bilabial fricative. Sundanese language, Sundanese has an allophonic nasalized glottal stop ; nasalized stops can occur only with pharyngeal articulation or lower, or they would be simple nasals. Nasal flap consonant, flaps are common allophonically. Many West African languages have a nasal flap (or ) as an allophone of before a nasal vowel; Pashto language, Pashto, however, has a phonemic nasal retroflex lateral flap. Other languages, such as the Khoisan languages of Khoekhoe language, Khoekhoe and Gǀui dialect, Gǀui, as well as several of the !Kung languages, include nasal click consonants. Nasal clicks are typically with a nasal or superscript nasal preceding the consonant (for example, velar-palatal or and uvular-palatal or ). Nasalized laterals such as are easy to produce but rare or nonexistent as phonemes; allophonically, they may appear in some
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
words like ''enlatar'' or ''enlamear''. Often when is nasalized, it becomes .


True nasal fricatives

Besides nasalized oral fricatives, there are true nasal fricatives, or ''anterior nasal fricatives'', previously called ''nareal fricatives''. They are sometimes produced by people with Speech disorder, disordered speech. The turbulence in the airflow characteristic of fricatives is produced not in the mouth but at the anterior nasal port, the narrowest part of the nasal cavity. (Turbulence can also be produced at the posterior nasal port, or velopharyngeal port, when that port is narrowed – see velopharyngeal fricative. With anterior nasal fricatives, the velopharyngeal port is open.) A superimposed homothetic sign that resembles a Colon (punctuation), colon divided by a tilde is used for this in the extensions to the IPA: is a voiced alveolar nasal fricative, with no airflow out of the mouth, and is the voiceless equivalent; is an oral fricative with simultaneous nasal frication. No known language makes use of nasal fricatives in non-disordered speech.


Denasalization

Nasalization may be lost over time. There are also Denasalization, denasal sounds, which sound like nasals spoken with a head cold. They may be found in non-pathological speech as a language loses nasal consonants, as in Korean language, Korean.


Contextual nasalization

Vowels assimilate to surrounding
nasal consonant 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 ...
s in many languages, such as Thai language, Thai, creating nasal vowel allophones. Some languages exhibit a nasalization of Segment (linguistics), segments adjacent to phonemic or allophonic nasal vowels, such as Apurinã language, Apurinã. Contextual nasalization can lead to the addition of nasal vowel phonemes to a language.The World Atlas of Language Structures Online
Chapter 10 – Vowel Nasalization
/ref> That happened in French, most of whose final consonants disappeared, but its final nasals made the preceding vowels become nasal, which introduced a new distinction into the language. An example is ''vin blanc'' ('white wine'), ultimately from Latin ''vinum'' and ''blancum''.


See also

*Eclipsis, a similar process in Gaelic that is often called "nasalization" *Nasal consonant *Nasal release *Nasal vowel *Nasality (disorder), Nasality *Prenasalized consonant


References

{{articulation navbox Nasalization, Phonetics Phonology Historical linguistics Assimilation (linguistics)