Open main menu

Palatal nasal

  (Redirected from Alveolo-palatal nasal)

The 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.

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

The IPA symbol derives from ⟨n⟩ and ⟨j⟩, denoting palatal.[2] In French and Italian orthographies the sound is represented by the digraph ⟨gn⟩. In Spanish and languages whose writing systems are influenced by Spanish orthography, it is represented by the letter ⟨ñ⟩, called eñe ("enye"). Occitan uses the digraph ⟨nh⟩, the source of the same Portuguese digraph called ene-agá, used thereafter by languages whose writing systems are influenced by Portuguese orthography, such as Vietnamese[citation needed]. In Catalan, Hungarian and many African languages, as Swahili or Dinka, the digraph ⟨ny⟩ is used.

The 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.[3][4]

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].[5]


Features of the voiced palatal 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.
  • Its place of articulation is palatal, which means it is articulated with the middle or back part of the tongue raised to the hard palate.
  • 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.


Palatal or alveolo-palatalEdit

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
!Kung[6] [example needed] Represented by ⟨ny⟩
Albanian një [ɲə] 'one'
Aranda [example needed] Alveolo-palatal and dento-alveolo-palatal.[7]
Basque andereño [än̪d̪e̞ɾe̞ɲo̞] 'female teacher'
Bengali[8] অঞ্চল [ɔɲtʃɔl] 'area' Contrasts with the voiceless palatal nasal /ɲ̥/. See Bengali phonology
Burmese[8] ညာ [ɲà] 'right(-hand side)' Contrasts with the voiceless palatal nasal /ɲ̥/.
Catalan[9] any [ˈaɲ̟] 'year' Alveolo-palatal or palatal.[7] See Catalan phonology
Chinese Mandarin 女人 / nyü3 ren2 [ȵy˩ ɻən˨˧] 'woman' Alveolo-palatal
Sichuanese 女人 / nyü3 ren2 [ȵy˥˧ zən˨˩] 'woman' Alveolo-palatal
Wu / Shanghai dialect 女人 / gniugnin [ȵy˩˧ȵiŋ˥˨] 'woman' Alveolo-palatal
Czech ň [kuːɲ] 'horse' May be intermediate between palatal and alveolo-palatal.[4] See Czech phonology
Dinka nyɔt [ɲɔt] 'very'
Dutch[10] oranje [oˈrɑɲə] 'orange' Not all dialects. See Dutch phonology
French hargneux [arɲø] 'belligerent' See French phonology
Galician[11] viño [ˈbiɲo] 'wine' See Galician phonology
Greek πρωτοχρονιά / prōtochroniá [pro̞to̞xro̞ˈɲ̟ɐ] 'New Year's Day' Alveolo-palatal.[12] See Modern Greek phonology
Hindustani Hindi व्यंजन [ʋjəɲdʒən] 'consonant' See Hindustani phonology
Hungarian[13] anya [ˈɒɲɒ] 'mother' Alveolo-palatal with alveolar contact.[7] See Hungarian phonology
Italian Standard bagno [ˈbäɲːo] 'bath' Postalveolo-prepalatal.[14] See Italian phonology
Romanesco dialect niente [ˈɲːɛn̪t̪e] 'nothing'
Irish[3] inné [əˈn̠ʲeː] 'yesterday' Irish contrasts alveolo-palatal /n̠ʲ/, palatal/palatovelar /ɲ/, velar /ŋ/ and, in some dialects, palatalized alveolar /nʲ/.[15][16][17][3] See Irish phonology
Japanese[18] / niwa [ɲ̟iɰᵝa̠] 'garden' Alveolar or dento-alveolar.[7] See Japanese phonology
Khasi bse [bsɛɲ] 'snake'
Korean 저녁 / jeonyeok [t͡ɕʌɲʌk̚] 'evening' Alveolo-palatal. See Korean phonology
Latvian mākoņains [maːkuɔɲains] 'cloudy' See Latvian phonology
Macedonian чешање [ˈt͡ʃɛʃaɲɛ] 'itching' See Macedonian phonology
Malagasy[7] [example needed] Palatal.
Malay banyak [bäɲäʔˈ] 'a lot' Does not occur at the end of a word.
Malayalam[19] ഞാന് [ɲäːn] 'I'
Mapudungun[20] ñachi [ɲɜˈt͡ʃɪ] 'spiced blood'
North Frisian Mooring fliinj [ˈfliːɲ] 'to fly'
Norwegian Northern[21] mann [mɑɲː] 'man' See Norwegian phonology
Occitan Northern Polonha [puˈluɲo̞] 'Poland' Simultaneous alveolo-palatal and dento-alveolar or dento-alveolo-palatal.[7] See Occitan phonology
Gascon banh [baɲ] 'bath'
Polish[22] koń  [kɔɲ̟]  'horse' Alveolo-palatal. May be replaced by a nasal palatal approximant in coda position or before fricatives. See Polish phonology
Portuguese Many dialects[23] nia [ˈsõ̞n̠ʲɐ] 'Sonia' Possible realization of post-stressed /ni/ plus vowel.
Brazilian[23][24] sonha [ˈsõ̞ɲɐ] 'it dreams' Central palatal, not the same that /ʎ/ which is pre-palatal.[25] May instead be approximant[26][11] in Brazil and Africa. See Portuguese phonology
European[27] arranhar [ɐʁɐ̃ˈn̠ʲaɾ] 'to scratch' Dento-alveolo-palatal.[7]
Quechua ñuqa [ˈɲɔqɑ] 'I'
Romanian Transylvanian dialects[28] câine [ˈkɨɲe̞] 'dog' Alveolo-palatal.[28] corresponds to [n] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Scottish Gaelic[29] seinn [ʃeiɲ̟] 'sing' Alveolo-palatal. See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbo-Croatian[30] њој / njoj [ɲ̟ȏ̞j] 'to her' Alveolo-palatal. See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak pečeň [ˈpɛ̝t͡ʃɛ̝ɲ̟] 'liver' Alveolar.[7] See Slovak phonology
Spanish[31] enseñar [ẽ̞nse̞ˈɲär] 'to teach' Simultaneous alveolo-palatal and dento-alveolar or dento-alveolo-palatal.[7] See Spanish phonology
Swahili nyama [ɲɑmɑ] 'meat'
Ukrainian тінь [t̪ʲin̠ʲ] 'shadow' Alveolo-palatal. See Ukrainian phonology
Vietnamese nhà [ɲâː] 'house' "Laminoalveolar".[32] See Vietnamese phonology
West Frisian njonken [ˈɲoŋkən] 'next to' Phonemically /nj/. See West Frisian phonology
Yi / nyi [n̠ʲi˧] 'sit' Alveolo-palatal.
Zulu inyoni [iɲ̟óːni] 'bird' Alveolo-palatal.[7]


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
German Standard[33] ngig [ˈɡ̟ɛŋ̟ɪç] 'common' Allophone of /ŋ/ before and after front vowels;[33] the example also illustrates [ɡ̟]. See Standard German phonology
Lithuanian[34] men [ˈmʲæŋ̟k̟eː] 'cod' Allophone of /n/ before palatalized velars;[34] typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ŋʲ⟩. See Lithuanian phonology
Mapudungun[20] dañe [ˈθɐɲe̞] 'nest'
Polish[35][36] węgiel [ˈvɛŋ̟ɡ̟ɛl] 'coal' Allophone of /n/ before /kʲ, ɡʲ/.[35][36] See Polish phonology
Romanian[37] anchetă [äŋ̟ˈk̟e̞t̪ə] 'inquiry' Allophone of /n/ used before the palatalized allophones of /k, ɡ/.[37] Typically transcribed in IPA with ⟨ŋʲ⟩. See Romanian phonology
Uzbek[38] ming [miŋ̟] 'thousand' Word-final allophone of /ŋ/ after front vowels.[38]
Vietnamese nhạc [ɲa̰ːʔk˨˩] 'music" Final allophone of /ɲ/. See Vietnamese phonology
Yanyuwa[39] [l̪uwaŋ̟u] 'strip of turtle fat' Post-palatal; contrasts with post-velar [ŋ̠].[39]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. xviii.
  2. ^ Heselwood (2013), p. 113.
  3. ^ a b c Ní Chasaide (1999).
  4. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 33.
  5. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 163.
  6. ^ Doke (1925), p. ?.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Recasens (2013), p. 11.
  8. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 111.
  9. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992), p. 53.
  10. ^ Gussenhoven (1992), p. 46.
  11. ^ a b Mattos e Silva (1991), p. 73.
  12. ^ Arvaniti (2007), p. 20.
  13. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 164.
  14. ^ Recasens et al. (1993), p. 222.
  15. ^ Quiggin (1906).
  16. ^ de Bhaldraithe (1966).
  17. ^ Mhac an Fhailigh (1968).
  18. ^ Okada (1999), p. 118.
  19. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 165.
  20. ^ a b Sadowsky et al. (2013), p. 88.
  21. ^ a b Skjekkeland (1997), pp. 105–107.
  22. ^ Jassem (2003), pp. 103–104.
  23. ^ a b Considerações sobre o status das palato-alveolares em português, p. 12.
  24. ^ Aragão (2009), p. 168.
  25. ^ Cagliari 1974, p. 77. Citation:Em português, o [ɲ] se aproxima mais do [ŋ] do que do [n]; por isso será classificado como "central" e não como pré-palatal. O [ʎ] em muitas línguas se realiza como "central"; em português, [ʎ] tende a [lj] e se realiza sempre na região prepalatal.
  26. ^ Portuguese vinho: diachronic evidence for biphonemic nasal vowels
  27. ^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995), p. 91.
  28. ^ a b Pop (1938), p. 30.
  29. ^ Oftedal (1956), p. ?.
  30. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 67.
  31. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003), p. 255.
  32. ^ Thompson (1959), pp. 460.
  33. ^ a b Krech et al. (2009), pp. 49, 97.
  34. ^ a b Ambrazas et al. (1997), p. 36.
  35. ^ a b Gussmann (1974), pp. 107, 111, 114.
  36. ^ a b Ostaszewska & Tambor (2000), pp. 35, 41, 86.
  37. ^ a b Sarlin (2014), p. 17.
  38. ^ a b Sjoberg (1963), p. 12.
  39. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), pp. 34-35.


  • Ambrazas, Vytautas; Geniušienė, Emma; Girdenis, Aleksas; Sližienė, Nijolė; Valeckienė, Adelė; Valiulytė, Elena; Tekorienė, Dalija; Pažūsis, Lionginas (1997), Ambrazas, Vytautas (ed.), Lithuanian Grammar, Vilnius: Institute of the Lithuanian Language, ISBN 978-9986-813-22-4
  • Aragão, Maria do Socorro Silva de (2009), Os estudos fonético-fonológicos nos estados da Paraíba e do Ceará [The phonetic-phonological studies in Paraíba and Ceará states] (PDF) (in Portuguese)
  • Arvaniti, Amalia (2007), "Greek Phonetics: The State of the Art" (PDF), Journal of Greek Linguistics, 8: 97–208, CiteSeerX, doi:10.1075/jgl.8.08arv, archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-11
  • Cagliari, Luiz Carlos (1974), A palatalização em portugues : uma investigação palatografica
  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 22 (1–2): 53–56, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 25 (2): 90–94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223
  • Doke, Clement M. (1925), "An outline of the phonetics of the language of the ʗhũ: Bushman of the North-West Kalahari", Bantu Studies, 2: 129–166, doi:10.1080/02561751.1923.9676181
  • de Bhaldraithe, Tomás (1966), The Irish of Cois Fhairrge, Co. Galway (2nd ed.), Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, ISBN 978-0-901282-51-4
  • Fougeron, Cecile; Smith, Caroline L (1993), "Illustrations of the IPA:French", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 23 (2): 73–76, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004874
  • Gussenhoven, Carlos (1992), "Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 22 (2): 45–47, doi:10.1017/S002510030000459X
  • Gussmann, Edmund (1974), Fisiak, Jacek (ed.), "Nasality in Polish and English" (PDF), Papers and Studies in Contrastive Linguistics, Poznań: Adam Mickiewicz University, 2: 105–122
  • Heselwood, Barry (2013), Phonetic Transcription in Theory and Practice, Edinburgh University Press, ISBN 978-0-7486-4073-7
  • Jassem, Wiktor (2003), "Polish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (1): 103–107, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001191
  • Krech, Eva Maria; Stock, Eberhard; Hirschfeld, Ursula; Anders, Lutz-Christian (2009), Deutsches Aussprachewörterbuch, Berlin, New York: Walter de Gruyter, ISBN 978-3-11-018202-6
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005), Vowels and Consonants (2nd ed.), Blackwell
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996), The Sounds of the World's Languages, Oxford: Blackwell, ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373
  • Mattos e Silva, Rosa (1991), O Português arcaico – fonologia, Contexto
  • Mhac an Fhailigh, Éamonn (1968), The Irish of Erris, Co. Mayo, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, ISBN 978-0-901282-02-6
  • Ní Chasaide, Ailbhe (1999), "Irish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association, Cambridge University Press, pp. 111–16, ISBN 978-0-521-63751-0, retrieved 2009-01-21
  • Oftedal, M. (1956), The Gaelic of Leurbost, Oslo: Norsk Tidskrift for Sprogvidenskap
  • Okada, Hideo (1999), "Japanese", in International Phonetic Association (ed.), Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge University Press, pp. 117–119, ISBN 978-0-52163751-0
  • Ostaszewska, Danuta; Tambor, Jolanta (2000), Fonetyka i fonologia współczesnego języka polskiego, Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, ISBN 978-83-01-12992-7
  • Pop, Sever (1938), Micul Atlas Linguistic Român, Muzeul Limbii Române Cluj
  • Quiggin, E. C. (1906), A Dialect of Donegal: Being the Speech of Meenawannia in the Parish of Glenties , Cambridge University Press
  • Ramalho, Elba Braga (1998), Aspectos do falar nordestino em Samarica Parteira [aspects of nordestino dialectal speech in 'Samarica Parteira'] (PDF)
  • Recasens, Daniel (2013), "On the articulatory classification of (alveolo)palatal consonants" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 1–22, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000199
  • Recasens, Daniel; Farnetani, Edda; Fontdevila, Jordi; Pallarès, Maria Dolors (1993), "An electropalatographic study of alveolar and palatal consonants in Catalan and Italian" (PDF), Language and Speech, 36 (2–3): 213–234, doi:10.1177/002383099303600306, PMID 8277809
  • Sadowsky, Scott; Painequeo, Héctor; Salamanca, Gastón; Avelino, Heriberto (2013), "Mapudungun", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 87–96, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000369
  • Sarlin, Mika (2014) [First published 2013], "Sounds of Romanian and their spelling", Romanian Grammar (2nd ed.), Helsinki: Books on Demand GmbH, pp. 16–37, ISBN 978-952-286-898-5
  • Sjoberg, Andrée F. (1963), Uzbek Structural Grammar, Uralic and Altaic Series, 18, Bloomington: Indiana University
  • Skjekkeland, Martin (1997), Dei norske dialektane: Tradisjonelle særdrag i jamføring med skriftmåla (in Norwegian), Høyskoleforlaget (Norwegian Academic Press)
  • Thompson, Laurence (1959), "Saigon phonemics", Language, 35 (3): 454–476, doi:10.2307/411232, JSTOR 411232

External linksEdit