Voiced velar nasal
ŋ
IPA Number119
Audio sample
Encoding
Entity (decimal)ŋ
Unicode (hex)U+014B
X-SAMPAN
Braille⠫ (braille pattern dots-1246)

The voiced velar nasal, also known as agma, from the Greek word for 'fragment', is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. It is the sound of ng in English sing as well as n before velar consonants as in English and ink. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ŋ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is N. The IPA symbol ŋ is 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 ɲ, the symbol for the palatal nasal, which has a leftward-pointing hook extending from the bottom of the left stem. Both the IPA symbol and the sound are commonly called 'eng' or 'engma'.

While almost all languages have /m/ and /n/ as phonemes, /ŋ/ is rarer.[1] Half of the 469 languages surveyed in Anderson (2008) had a velar nasal phoneme; as a further curiosity, many of them limit its occurrence to the syllable coda. The velar nasal does not occur in many of the languages of the Americas, the Middle East, or the Caucasus, but it is extremely common among Australian Aboriginal languages, languages of Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asian and Southeast Asian languages, and Polynesian languages. In many languages that do not have the velar nasal as a phoneme, such as the Romance languages, it occurs as an allophone of /n/ before velar consonants. This kind of assimilation can even be found in languages with phonemic voiced velar nasals, such as English. An example of this phenomenon is the word income; its underlying representation, /ˈɪnˌkʌm/, can be realized as either [ˈɪnˌkʌm] or [ˈɪŋˌkʌm].

An example of a language that lacks a phonemic or allophonic velar nasal is Russian, in which /n/ is pronounced as laminal denti-alveolar [] even before velar consonants.[2]

Some languages have the pre-velar nasal,[3] which is articulated slightly more front compared with the place of articulation of the prototypical velar nasal, though not as front as the prototypical palatal nasal - see that article for more information.

Conversely, some languages have the post-velar nasal,[4] which is articulated slightly behind the place of articulation of a prototypical velar nasal, though not as back as the prototypical uvular nasal.

Features

Features of the voiced velar nasal:

Occurrence

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian ngaqë [ŋɡacə] 'because'
Aleut[5] chaang/ча̄ӈ [tʃɑːŋ] 'five'
Arabic Hejazi
[citation needed]
مــنــقل/mingal [mɪŋɡal] 'brazier' Allophone of /n/ before velar stops. See Hejazi Arabic phonology
Armenian Eastern[6] ընկեր/ënker [əŋˈkɛɾ] 'friend' Allophone of /n/ before velar consonants
Assamese ৰং/ŗông [ɹɔŋ] 'color'
Asturian non [nõŋ] 'no' Allophone of /n/ in word-final position, either before consonants other than velar stops or vowel-beginning words or before a pause.
Bambara ŋonI [ŋoni] 'guitar'
Bashkir мең / meñ [mɪ̞ŋ] 'one thousand'
Basque hanka [haŋka] 'leg'
Bengali /rông [ɾɔŋ] 'color'
Bulgarian[7] тънко/nko [ˈtɤŋko] 'thin'
Cantonese /ngòhng [ŋɔːŋ˩] 'raise' See Cantonese phonology
Catalan[8] sang [ˈsɑ̃ŋ(k)] 'blood' See Catalan phonology
Cebuano ngano [ˈŋano] 'why'
Chamorro ngånga' [ŋɑŋaʔ] 'duck'
Chukchi ӈыроӄ/yroq [ŋəɹoq] 'three'
Czech tank [taŋk] 'tank' See Czech phonology
Dinka ŋa [ŋa] 'who'
Danish sang [sɑŋˀ] 'song' See Danish phonology
Dutch[9] angst [ɑŋst] 'fear' See Dutch phonology
Eastern Min /ngì [ŋi53] 'suspect'
English sing [sɪŋ] 'sing' Restricted to the syllable coda. See English phonology
Faroese ong [ɔŋk] 'meadow'
Fijian gone [ˈŋone] 'child'
Filipino ngayón [ŋaˈjon] 'now'
Finnish kangas [ˈkɑŋːɑs] 'cloth' Occurs in native vocabulary only intervocally (as a geminate) and before /k/. See Finnish phonology
French[10] Standard camping [kɑ̃piŋ(ɡ)] 'camping' Occurs only in words borrowed from English or Chinese. See French phonology
Southern France pain [pɛŋ] 'bread' For many speakers, [ŋ] acts as a substitute for the nasalization of the preceding vowel, which may still be partially nasal. It is one of the most typical traits of varieties of French influenced by an Occitan substrate.
Galician unha [ˈuŋa] 'one' (f.)
Gan /nga [ŋa] 'tooth'
German lang [laŋ] 'long' See Standard German phonology
Greek άγχος / anchos ['aŋxo̞s] 'Stress' See Modern Greek phonology
Hakka Sixian /ngô [ŋai˨˦] 'I'
Hebrew Standard אנגלית/anglit [aŋɡˈlit] 'English language' Allophone of /n/ before velar stops. See Modern Hebrew phonology
Sephardi עין/nayin [ŋaˈjin] 'Ayin' See Sephardi Hebrew
Hiligaynon buang [bu'äŋ] 'crazy/mentally unstable'
Hindustani Hindi रंग/रङ्ग/rag [rəŋg] 'color' See Hindustani phonology
Urdu رن٘گ/rag
Fiji Hindustani Rang
Hungarian ing [iŋɡ] 'shirt' Allophone of /n/. See Hungarian phonology
Icelandic ng [ˈkœy̯ŋk] 'tunnel' See Icelandic phonology
Ilocano ngalngal [ŋalŋal] 'to chew'
Inuktitut ᐆᖅ / puunnguuq [puːŋŋuːq] 'dog'
Inuvialuktun qamnguiyuaq [qamŋuijuaq] 'snores'
Irish a nglór [ˌə̃ ˈŋl̪ˠoːɾˠ] 'their voice' Occurs word-initially as a result of the consonantal mutation eclipsis. See Irish phonology
Italian[11] anche [ˈaŋke] 'also' Allophone of /n/ before /k/ and /ɡ/. See Italian phonology
Itelmen қниң [qniŋ] 'one'
Japanese Standard 南極 / nankyoku [naŋkʲokɯ] 'the South Pole' See Japanese phonology
Eastern dialects[12] / kagi [kaŋi] 'key'
Javanese ꦱꦺꦔꦏ꧀/Sengak [səŋŋak] stink Additional /ŋ/ caused by vowel after /ŋ/ sounding
Jin Yuci /ngie [ŋie] 'I'
Kagayanen[13] manang [manaŋ] 'older sister'
Kazakh мың / myń [məŋ] 'thousand'
Kyrgyz миң/miñ [miŋ]
Ket аяң/ajaņ [ajaŋ] 'to damn'
Khasi ngap [ŋap] 'honey'
Khmer
  • [ŋiəj]
  • [kɑːsaːŋ]
  • 'easy'
  • 'to build'
See Khmer phonology
Korean 성에 / seonge [sʌŋe] 'window frost' See Korean phonology
Kurdish Northern ceng [dʒɛŋ] 'war' See Kurdish phonology
Central جه‌نگ/ceng
Southern
Luganda ŋaaŋa [ŋɑːŋɑ] 'hornbill'
Luxembourgish[14] keng [kʰæŋ] 'nobody' See Luxembourgish phonology
Macedonian aнглиски/angliski [ˈaŋɡliski] 'English' Occurs occasionally as an allophone of /n/ before /k/ and /ɡ/. See Macedonian phonology
Malay Malaysian and Indonesian bangun [ˈbaŋʊn] 'wake up'
Kelantan-Pattani sini [si.niŋ] 'here' See Kelantan-Pattani Malay
Terengganu ayam [a.jaŋ] 'chicken' See Terengganu Malay
Malayalam[5] മാങ്ങ/mān̄n̄a [maːŋŋɐ] 'mango'
Mandarin Standard 北京/Běijīng [peɪ˨˩tɕiŋ˥] 'Beijing' Restricted to the syllable coda. See Mandarin phonology
Sichuanese /ngo3 [ŋɔ˨˩] 'I'
Marathi रंग/ranga [rəŋə] 'colour' See Marathi phonology
Mari еҥ/eng [jeŋ] 'human'
Mongolian тэнгэр / teŋger [teŋger] 'sky'
Nepali /nang [nʌŋ] 'nail' See Nepali phonology
Nganasan ӈаӈ/ngang [ŋaŋ] 'mouth'
Nivkh ңамг/ngamg [ŋamɡ] 'seven'
North Frisian Mooring kåchelng [ˈkɔxəlŋ] 'stove'
Northern Min /ngui [ŋui] 'outside'
Northern Sámi[15] Eastern Finnmark maŋis [mɒːŋiːs] 'behind'
Western Finnmark máŋga [mɑːŋˑka] 'many' [ŋ] has merged with [ɲ] in Western Finnmark, except before velar stops.
Norwegian gang [ɡɑŋ] 'hallway' See Norwegian phonology
Odia ଏବଂ/ebang [ebɔŋ] 'and'
Okinawan nkai [ŋkai] 'to' Allophone of [n] before velars, before consonants in an onset cluster, and also word-finally in some dialects.
Ottoman Turkish یڭی/yeŋi 'new'
Panjabi Gurmukhi ਰੰਗ/rang [rəŋ] 'color'
Shahmukhi رنگ/rang
Persian Iranian Persian [ræŋg] Allophone of /n/ before velar plosives. See Persian phonology
Pipil nemanha [nemaŋa] 'later'
Polish[16] bank [bäŋk] 'bank' Allophone of /n/ before /k, ɡ, x/; post-palatal before /kʲ, ɡʲ/.[17][18] See Polish phonology
Portuguese manga [ˈmɐ̃(ŋ)ɡɐ] 'mango' Occurs occasionally in slow, careful speech, as an allophone of /n/ before /ɡ/ and /k/, when the speaker does not delete the /n/ by fusing it with the preceding vowel.
Occitan Provençal vin [viŋ] 'wine'
Rapanui hanga [haŋa] 'bay' Sometimes written ⟨g⟩ in Rapanui
Romanian Țara Moților Transylvanian[19] câine ['kɨŋi] 'dog' Corresponds to [n] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Samoan gagana [ŋaˈŋana] 'language'
Serbo-Croatian[20] stanka / станка [stâːŋka] 'pause' Allophone of /n/ before /k, ɡ, x/.[20] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Seri comcáac [koŋˈkaak] 'Seri people'
Shona n'anga [ŋaŋɡa] 'traditional healer'
Slovene tank [ˈt̪âːŋk] 'tank'
Southern Min Hokkien /n̂g [ŋ̍˨˦] 'yellow'
Teochew /ng5 [ŋ̍55]
Spanish[21] All dialects domingo [d̪o̞ˈmĩŋɡo̞] 'Sunday' Allophone of /n/ before velar consonants. See Spanish phonology
Galician Spanish, Andalusian, Canarian, and most Caribbean dialects alquitrán [alkiˈtɾaŋ] 'tar' Allophone of /n/ in word-final position regardless of what follows.
Swahili ng'ombe [ŋombɛ] 'cow'
Swedish ingenting [ɪŋɛnˈtʰɪŋ] 'nothing' See Swedish phonology
Tamil ங்கே/in̄gē [iŋgeː] 'here'
Telugu వాఙ్మయం [ʋaːŋmajam] 'Literature' Allophone of anuswara when followed by velar stop
Tibetan Standard /nga [ŋa˩˧] 'I'
Thai าน/ngaan [ŋaːn] 'work'
Nuer - Thok Nath ŋa [ŋa] 'who?' or 'Is who?'
Tongan tangata [taŋata] 'man'
Tuamotuan rangi / ragi [raŋi] 'sky'
Tundra Nenets ӈэва/ŋəwa [ŋæewa] 'head'
Tupi monhang [mɔɲaŋ] 'to make' See Tupian Phonology
Turkmen ň [myŋ] 'thousand'
Tyap ɡwon [ŋɡʷən] 'child'
Uzbek ming [miŋ] 'thousand'
Venetian man [maŋ] 'hand'
Vietnamese[22] ngà [ŋaː˨˩] 'ivory' See Vietnamese phonology
Welsh rhwng [r̥ʊŋ] 'between'
West Frisian kening [ˈkeːnɪŋ] 'king'
Wu /ng [ŋ˩˧] 'five'
Xhosa ing'ang'ane [iŋaŋaːne] 'hadada ibis'
Xiang /ngau [ŋau] 'to boil'
Yi /nga [ŋa˧] 'I'
Yup'ik ungungssiq [uŋuŋssiq] 'animal'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[23] yan [jaŋ] 'neck' Word-final allophone of lenis /n/

See also

Notes

  1. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 164. The oral counterparts /p, t, k/ are found together in almost all languages
  2. ^ Jones & Ward (1969), p. 160.
  3. ^ Instead of "pre-velar", it can be called "advanced velar", "fronted velar", "front-velar", "palato-velar", "post-palatal", "retracted palatal" or "backed palatal".
  4. ^ Instead of "post-velar", it can be called "retracted velar", "backed velar", "pre-uvular", "advanced uvular" or "fronted uvular".
  5. ^ a b Ladefoged (2005), p. 165.
  6. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009), p. 19.
  7. ^ Sabev, Mitko. "Bulgarian Sound System". Archived from the original on 11 July 2012. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
  8. ^ Carbonell & Llisterri (1992), p. 53.
  9. ^ Gussenhoven (1992), p. 45.
  10. ^ Wells (1989), p. 44.
  11. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 118.
  12. ^ Okada (1999), p. 118.
  13. ^ Olson et al. (2010), pp. 206–207.
  14. ^ Gilles & Trouvain (2013), pp. 67–68.
  15. ^ Aikio & Ylikoski (2022), p. 151.
  16. ^ Jassem (2003), p. 103.
  17. ^ Gussmann (1974), pp. 107, 111 and 114.
  18. ^ Ostaszewska & Tambor (2000), pp. 35, 41 and 86.
  19. ^ Pop (1938), p. 31.
  20. ^ a b Landau et al. (1999), p. 67
  21. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003), p. 258.
  22. ^ Thompson (1959), pp. 458–461.
  23. ^ Merrill (2008), p. 109.

References

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