Voiced palatal nasal

Voiced palatal nasal
IPA Number118
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɲ
Unicode (hex)U+0272
Braille⠿ (braille pattern dots-123456)
Voiced alveolo-palatal nasal

The voiced palatal nasal is a type of consonant used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ɲ⟩,[1] a lowercase letter n with a leftward-pointing tail protruding from the bottom of the left stem of the letter. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is J. The IPA symbol ⟨ɲ⟩ is visually similar to ⟨ɳ⟩, the symbol for the retroflex nasal, which has a rightward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of the right stem, and to ⟨ŋ⟩, the symbol for the velar nasal, which has a leftward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of the right stem.

The IPA symbol derives from ⟨n⟩ and ⟨j⟩, ⟨n⟩ for nasality and ⟨j⟩ denoting palatal.[2] In Spanish and languages whose writing systems are influenced by Spanish orthography, it is represented by the letter ⟨ñ⟩, called eñe ("enye"). In French and Italian orthographies the sound is represented by the digraph ⟨gn⟩. Occitan uses the digraph ⟨nh⟩, the source of the same Portuguese digraph called ene-agá (lit.'en-aitch'), used thereafter by languages whose writing systems are influenced by Portuguese orthography, such as Vietnamese.[3][4] In Catalan, Hungarian and many African languages, as Swahili or Dinka, the digraph ⟨ny⟩ is used. In Albanian and some countries that used to be Yugoslavia, the digraph (Nj) is used, and sometimes, for the languages with the Cyrillic script that used to be part of Yugoslavia, uses the (Њњ) Cyrillic ligature that might be part of the official alphabet. In Czech and Slovak, /ɲ/ is represented by letter ⟨ň⟩.

The voiced alveolo-palatal nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some oral languages. There is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound. If more precision is desired, it may be transcribed ⟨n̠ʲ⟩ or ⟨ɲ̟⟩; these are essentially equivalent, since the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue. There is a non-IPA letter ⟨ȵ⟩ (⟨n⟩, plus the curl found in the symbols for alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives ⟨ɕ, ʑ⟩), used especially in Sinological circles.

The alveolo-palatal nasal is commonly described as palatal; it is often unclear whether a language has a true palatal or not. Many languages claimed to have a palatal nasal, such as Portuguese, actually have an alveolo-palatal nasal. This is likely true of several of the languages listed here. Some dialects of Irish as well as some non-standard dialects of Malayalam are reported to contrast alveolo-palatal and palatal nasals.[5][6]

There is also a post-palatal nasal (also called pre-velar, fronted velar etc.) in some languages. Palatal nasals are more common than the palatal stops [c, ɟ].[7]

  1. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. xviii.
  2. ^ Heselwood (2013), p. 113.
  3. ^ "Does the current Vietnamese alphabet/script derive from Portuguese or French?". Quora. Retrieved 2022-05-05.
  4. ^ Michaud, Alexis (2010-01-01). ""The origin of the peculiarities of the Vietnamese alphabet": translation of an article by André-Georges Haudricourt". Mon-Khmer Studies.
  5. ^ Ní Chasaide (1999).
  6. ^ Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 33.
  7. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 163.

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