There are three nasal sounds in American English pronunciation: the m sound, n sound, and ng sound. The two major points that beginner students should understand about producing nasal sounds are:
- The air is completely blocked from leaving the mouth, and is instead released out through the nose
- All three nasal sounds are voiced, meaning that the vocal cords vibrate during the creation of the sound
A subtle aspect of the n sound to be aware and attempt mastery of is:
- The n sound can become syllabic consonant on unstressed syllables
The table below includes a key word to demonstrate each nasal sound. The nasal sound of each word is underlined.
The n sound as a syllabic consonant
A syllabic consonant is a consonant sound that becomes the base sound of a syllable (meaning that there is no vowel sound included in the syllable). On an unstressed syllable, the n sound can become syllabic. For instance, there is no vowel sound in the second syllable of the words sudden or golden.
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Pronunciation Pages 2
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