n/ŋ alternation

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ego
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n/ŋ alternation

Postby ego » 2011-03-15, 20:37

I am a bit confused about when /n/ in Japanese appears as [ŋ]. I know it has to do with the dialect so let's talk about what happens in Tokyo accent. When does /n/ appear as [ŋ]? Today I listened to Naoto Kan pronouncing この as [koŋo]. Please enlighten me, ありがとう

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby mōdgethanc » 2011-03-15, 20:39

As far as I know it only happens before /ɡ/. Maybe you're thinking of how eastern dialects usually realize /ɡ/ as [ŋ] except when it starts a word?
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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby md0 » 2011-03-15, 21:00

Ego, I hear lot of newscasters realizing /g/ as [ŋ] word-medially. It seems like it's a characteristic of formal spoken Japanese. In casual speech /g/ is sometimes realized as a voiced velar fricative, like our γάμμα.
But /n/? It seems there's a palatal allophone (に=[nji], not [ni]) but not a velar one. Of course, syllabic ん (what's the right IPA symbol btw?) is [ŋ] before /k/ and /g/. Maybe the underlying word wasn't この but こんご: /koんgo/->/koŋgo/->[koŋo]? This is a feature of some Japanese dialects (I read it some time ago) but I don't remember which.
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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby mōdgethanc » 2011-03-15, 21:01

ん is usually /ɴ/.

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby hlysnan » 2011-03-15, 21:21

Keep in mind that they probably won't notice which nasal you use.

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby mōdgethanc » 2011-03-15, 21:53

Well, mightn't they hear [ŋ] as /ɡ/? It's really an unimportant question though. As a learner, you should just pronounce /n/. There's no need to overthink it.

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby md0 » 2011-03-16, 12:57

Some of us here are simply dialecto-curious :whistle:
Last edited by md0 on 2011-03-16, 15:08, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby ego » 2011-03-16, 14:54

I guess you are right. I was confused with /g/ being nasalized. Good to know I don't need to worry too much :)

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby ego » 2011-03-16, 14:57

Talib wrote:As far as I know it only happens before /ɡ/. Maybe you're thinking of how eastern dialects usually realize /ɡ/ as [ŋ] except when it starts a word?


Tokyo is in the East too, so, is it a feature of standard Japanese as well?

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby mōdgethanc » 2011-03-16, 15:46

It depends on the speaker. Some consistently use [ŋ], some never do, and the majority have them in free variation.

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby Śrāmaṇera » 2011-03-22, 3:06

When I was in Nagasaki, I was told that the [ŋ] pronunciation shows your Japanese is more formal and "clean". Politicians for example should speak like that. :) Not too sure about it now though, since lots of people I asked can't really explain it.

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby mōdgethanc » 2011-03-22, 3:47

It's not like Japanese doesn't have any other ways of expressing formality though.

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Re: n/ŋ alternation

Postby Śrāmaṇera » 2011-03-22, 9:14

Indeed...


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