IPA phoneme /n/

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Revision as of 20:26, 8 December 2018 by Ghoti (talk | contribs) (Spanish)

n

noon /nuːn/

IPA vowels
æ ɑː
trap father - start
e
dress face square
ɪ ɪə
kit fleece near
ɒ əʊ ɔː
lot goat taught
ʊ ʊə
foot goose mature
juː jʊə
cute cure
ʌ ə ɜː
strut comma nurse
ɔɪ
price mouth choice
IPA consonants
Normal sound: /b, d, f, g, h, k, l, m, n, p, r, s, t, v, w, z/
 ʃ  ŋ
show church sing
ʒ  j 
usual judge you
θ ð s
think that see
IPA Stress
ˈ Primary stress
hotel /həʊˈtel/
ˌ Secondary stress
understand
/ˌʌndərˈstænd/
IPA Syllabification
. nitrate /ˈnaɪ.treɪt/, night-rate /ˈnaɪt.reɪt/

In English, both in Received Pronunciation and in General American, the IPA phonetic symbol /n/ corresponds to the initial consonant sound in words like "nice" and "know" and the final one in "one" and "can".

Common words

Initial pronunciation of /n/:

  • knee - knife - knock - know - name - near - need - never - new - next - nice - night - note - nothing - now - number

Final pronunciation of /n/:

  • again - begin - between - can - down - even - happen - man - mean - own - question - run - then - turn - when - woman

Middle pronunciation of /n/:

  • as "n": company - country - end - enough - interest - many - money - understand
  • as "nn": announce - annual - channel - connection - dinner - funny - manner

/n.n/ vs /n/

  • /n.n/: meanness, unknown, unnatural, unnecessary
  • /n/: cannot, innate, innovation

If a word cannot be separated in two components (such as mean-ness or can-not) then there is no doubt that the pronunciation is /n/.

  • announce, annual, connection, dinner, funny

Assimilation

Before /k/ or /g/, /n/ can optionally be pronounced [ŋ] as in an alternative pronunciation of income as [ˈɪŋkʌm]. There are no minimal pairs in which the difference is /nk/ and /ŋk/, or /ng/ and /ŋg/.

In many words the combinations "nc", "nch", "nk" and "nq" represent /ŋk/, as in uncle, anchor, ink and banquet. In many words "ng" represents /ŋg/ as in finger and kangaroo.

Before /p/ or /b/, /n/ can be pronounced [m] as in an alternative pronunciation of input as [ˈɪmpʊt].[1] There are no minimal pairs in which the difference is /np/ and /mp/, or /nb/ and /mb/.

Before /f/ or /v/, /n/ and /m/ may be neutralized and pronounced [ɱ], a labiodental nasal.[2] This explains common misspellings such as *comfirmation.

Assimilation may occur across word boundaries: "in case" pronounced [ɪŋ ˈkeɪs], "in place" pronounced [ɪm ˈpleɪs] and "in front" pronounced [iɱ frʌnt].

Lack of assimilation

The following words are shown with /nk/ in most dictionaries.

  • With "nc": conclude - conclusion - encourage - include - income - incorporate - increase - unclear
  • With "nch": melancholic - melancholy
  • With "nk": mankind - painkiller - pancake - unkind
  • With "nq": enquire - inquire - unquestionable

The following words are shown with /ng/ in most dictionaries.

  • congratulate, engage, engrave, ingrained, ingredient, sunglasses, ungrateful

The following words are shown with /nb/ in most dictionaries.

  • bonbon, cranberry, rainbow, sunbathe, unbearable, unbelievable

The following words are shown with /np/ in most dictionaries.

  • gunpowder, input, unpack, unpleasant, unpopular

Anticipated pronunciation difficulties depending on L1

Preconceived ideas and other interferences from L1 obviously interfere in many cases with how students perceive - and pronounce - sounds/words in English. The following section aims to point out some of the most typical difficulties teachers and students may encounter regarding pronunciation.

Spanish

Assimilation is normal in Spanish. Not only [ˈimput] as a Spanish word is more common than [ˈinput], the latter can hardly be pronounced.

See also

References

External links