Palatal n

Luis Gonzalez-Reimann reimann at UCLINK4.BERKELEY.EDU
Wed Jun 4 08:42:37 UTC 2003

Actually, the English word canyon is a particularly good illustration, as it
comes from Spanish cañón (in Spanish the accent falls on the o, but English
shifts it to the a). Because English does not have the ñ (palatal nasal), 'ny'
was adopted as the best approximation to the sound of ñ. 
So, for English speakers 'ny' is as close as it gets when trying to describe
the ñ sound in writing (without using phonetical explanations).

(By the way, ñ is ASCII character 164, so PCs can write it in any font)


Luis González-Reimann

At 02:07 PM 06/04/2003 +1000, you wrote:
>Dear Friends
>Can anyone help me with a simply pronunciation inquiry? What is the
>justification for pronouncing the palatal n (i.e. n~) as `ny'? Some primers
>say it is like the `ny' in `canyon' but I cannot understand where the `y'
>comes in.
>Many thanks in advance.

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