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 (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 [ˈãj̃o] 'year' Allophone of /ɲ/ between vowels, nasalizing the preceding vowel.
Other dialects, occasional in rapid, unguarded speech[11] 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.

See also


  1. ^ Canepari (2005:335)
  2. ^ Jolkesky (2009:676, 681)
  3. ^ Jolkesky (2009:681)
  4. ^ Gussman (2007)
  5. ^ Perini (2002:?)
  6. ^ a b Portuguese vinho: diachronic evidence for biphonemic nasal vowels
  7. ^ Mattos e Silva (1991:73)
  8. ^ Vigário (2003:77)
  9. ^ a b Valenzuela, Márquez Pinedo & Maddieson (2001:283)
  10. ^ Stark (1980:170)
  11. ^ 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.


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