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 Ewe and Bini.

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Nheengatu nhe'ng [j̃ẽʕɢ] '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 (sth)'

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

Polish[4] państwo [ˈpãj̃stfɔ] 'state, country'

Allophone of /ɲ/ before fricatives. See Polish phonology

Portuguese Brazilian[5] sonho [ˈsõj̃ʊ] 'dream' Allophone of /ɲ/ between vowels, nasalizes the preceding vowel. Language's original /ɲ/ sound.[6][7] See Portuguese phonology
Most dialects[8] es [kɐ̃j̃s] 'dogs' Allophone of /j/ after nasal vowels.
Some dialects[6] me ame! [ˈmj̃ɐ̃mi] 'love me!' Non-syllabic allophone of /i/ between nasal sounds.
Shipibo[9] [example needed] Allophone of /j/ after nasal vowels.[9]
Spanish Zwolle-Ebarb[10] año [ãj̃o] 'year' Allophone of /ɲ/ between vowels, nasalizing the preceding vowel.

See also



  • Canepari, Luciano (2005), "Hindi", A Handbook of Pronunciation, Lincom Europa, p. 335
  • Gussman, Edmund (2007), The Phonology of Polish, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-926747-7
  • Jolkesky, Marcelo Pinho de Valhery (2009), "Fonologia e prosódia do Kaingáng falado em Cacique Doble", Anais do SETA, Campinas: Editora do IEL-UNICAMP, 3: 675–685
  • Mattos e Silva, Rosa (1991), O Português arcaico – fonologia, Contexto
  • Perini, Mário Alberto (2002), Modern Portuguese (A Reference Grammar), New Haven: Yale University Press, ISBN 978-0-300-09155-7
  • Stark, Louisa R. (1980). "Notes on a Dialect of Spanish Spoken in Northern Louisiana". Anthropological Linguistics (in Spanish). 22 (4): 163–176. ISSN 0003-5483. JSTOR 30027771.
  • Valenzuela, Pilar M.; Márquez Pinedo, Luis; Maddieson, Ian (2001), "Shipibo", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 31 (2): 281–285, doi:10.1017/S0025100301002109
  • Vigário, Marina (2003), The Prosodic Word in European Portuguese, De Gruyter Mouton, ISBN 978-3-11-017713-8

Further reading

  • 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