Nasal palatal approximant

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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 Americanist phonetic notation it is .

The nasal palatal approximant is sometimes called a nasal yod; [j̃] and [w̃] may be called nasal glides.


Features of the nasal palatal approximant:


[j̃], written ny, is a common realization of /j/ before nasal vowels in many languages of West Africa that do not have a phonemic distinction between voiced nasal and oral stops, such as Yoruba, Ewe and Bini languages.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Nheengatu nheẽ [j̃ẽʔẽ] 'to speak' Influenced Brazilian Portuguese ''nh'' sound. Sometimes written with ''ñ''
Hindustani[1] संयम / sanyama [səj̃jəm] 'patience'

Allophone of /ɲ/ before [j]. See Hindustani phonology

Kaingang[2] [j̃ũ] 'brave' Possible word-initial realization of /j/ before a nasal vowel.[3]
Lombard bisògn de [biˈzɔj̃ d̪e] 'need for (something)'

Allophone of /ɲ/ before a consonant. See Lombard phonology

Louisiana Creole[4] [sɛ̃j̃ɛ̃] 'bleed'

Intervocalic allophone of /ɲ/

Polish[5] państwo [ˈpãj̃stfɔ] 'state, country'

Allophone of /ɲ/ before fricatives. See Polish phonology

Portuguese Brazilian[6] sonho [ˈsõj̃ʊ] 'dream' Allophone of /ɲ/ between vowels, nasalizes the preceding vowel. Language's original /ɲ/ sound.[7][8] See Portuguese phonology
Most dialects[9] es [kɐ̃j̃s] 'dogs' Allophone of /j/ after nasal vowels.
Some dialects[7] me ame! [ˈmj̃ɐ̃mi] 'love me!' Non-syllabic allophone of /i/ between nasal sounds.
Shipibo[10] [example needed] Allophone of /j/ after nasal vowels.[10]
Spanish Zwolle-Ebarb[11] año [ˈãj̃o] 'year' Allophone of /ɲ/ between vowels, nasalizing the preceding vowel.
Other dialects, occasional in rapid, unguarded speech[12] niños [ˈnij̃os] 'kids' Allophone of /ɲ/. Because nasality is retained and there is no potential merger with any other Spanish phonemes, this process is rarely noticed, and its geographical distribution has never been determined.
Sakha айыы [aȷ̃iː] 'sin, transgression' /ȷ̃/ is not distinguished from /j/ in the orthography[13]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Canepari (2005:335)
  2. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676, 681)
  3. ^ Jolkesky (2009:681)
  4. ^ Klingler, Thomas A.; Neumann-Holzschuh, Ingrid (2013). "Louisiana Creole". In Susanne Maria Michaelis; Philippe Maurer; Martin Haspelmath; Magnus Huber (eds.). The survey of pidgin and creole languages. Volume 2: Portuguese-based, Spanish-based, and French-based languages. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-967770-2.
  5. ^ Gussman (2007)
  6. ^ Perini (2002:?)
  7. ^ a b Portuguese vinho: diachronic evidence for biphonemic nasal vowels
  8. ^ Mattos e Silva (1991:73)
  9. ^ Vigário (2003:77)
  10. ^ a b Valenzuela, Márquez Pinedo & Maddieson (2001:283)
  11. ^ Stark (1980:170)
  12. ^ Lipski, John M. (1989). "Spanish yeísmo and the palatal resonants: Towards a unified analysis" (PDF). Probus. 1 (2). doi:10.1515/prbs.1989.1.2.211. S2CID 170139844.
  13. ^ "Yakut language".


Further reading[edit]

  • Shosted; Hualde (2010), (Current Issues in Linguistic Theory volume 315) Romance Linguistics 2009: Selected Papers from the 39th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL), Tucson, Arizona, March 2009, John Benjamins Publishing Company, pp. 43–61, ISBN 978-90-272-4833-6

External links[edit]