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The velar nasal /ŋ/
quickinfo

Features
A possible feature specification of /ŋ/ is +sonorant, -labial, -coronal, +velar, +nasal.

Phonotactic behaviour
/ŋ/ does not occur in onsets. It can occur in simple and complex codas such as in 1a and 1b, respectively; it does not occur after long vowels, and for this reason it has sometimes been suggested that it actually is a cluster at some level of the analysis.

Example 1

a. lang [laŋ] long
b. bank [baŋk] bank
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[+] Articulatory information

Dutch /ŋ/ is a voicedvelarnasal. There is some variation in the exact place of articulation, dependent on the place of articulation of the preceding vowel. It will be more front in zing/zɪŋ/sing, and more back in zong/zɔŋ/sang.

Velar
Speech sounds produced at velar place of articulation, between palatal and uvular. See the human speech organs.

Nasal
Speech sounds produced with a simultaneous oral closure and a lowered velum, allowing air to escape through the nose. See the human speech organs.


Figure 1: The human speech organs

[click image to enlarge]

[+] Acoustic properties of /ŋ/

Dutch /ŋ/ is a voiced velar nasal.

Velar
  • in obstruents, noise or noise bursts characterised by a concentration of energy in the middle of the spectrum (with F2 and F3 relatively close together).

  • in nasals, indicated by the presence of a low spectral peak (around 250 Hz) and no considerable spectral valleys until above 2 kHz.

Nasal
  • consonant involving low-amplitude, vowel-like periodicity. Typically characterised on a spectrogram by the presence of antiformants (spectral valleys).

[+] Examples

Table 1: Soundfiles, waveforms and spectrograms of the above sound files, with indications of the relevant acoustic parameters of Northern Standard Dutch /ŋ/
wordgroup phonological context sound waveform/spectogramme
de pijn blijft hangenthe pain stays intervocalic
[click image to enlarge]
het duurt niet langit doesn't take long word-final
[click image to enlarge]

Table 2: Soundfiles, waveforms and spectrograms of the above sound files, with indications of the relevant acoustic parameters of Southern Standard Dutch /ŋ/
wordgroup phonological context sound waveform/spectogramme
je armen naar beneden hangenhang your arms down intervocalic
[click image to enlarge]
langlong word-final
[click image to enlarge]
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