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zompist bboard • View topic - Are the h and ng sounds allophones?

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 12:05 pm 
Sanci
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More or less relevent to this thread, or at least the direction it has taken: in Finnish, /ŋ/ only exists intervocalically in inflected forms of words that have /nk/ [ŋk], eg. kenkä -> kengät (shoe -> shoes). Phonetically it's geminate or doubled [ŋː~ŋŋ], or at least occasionally [ŋg] for some people, but phonemically /ŋ/ even though it could be analysed as /ng/ or /nɣ/; the problem is that Finnish doesn't have /g/ except in loanwords and /ɣ/ has been lost. So, even though the syllable break is typically considered to be between the <n> and <g>, as in <ken.gät>, there is no /g/ phoneme.

Yet, even though /ŋ/ exists in Finnish and is a fairly common sound, some Finns at least occasionally have trouble with what is written <ng> in English and pronounce it as [ng], exactly as written. I'd say it either only happens or is especially common intervocalically, where it should be easier than word-finally if the reason why it happens was influence from Finnish. It might be somehow related to the fact that at least some dialects/speakers of English distinguish between [ŋ~ŋˑ~ŋː] and [ŋg], although it could just be that word-final [ng] takes more effort to pronounce than [ŋ]. On the other hand, some universally pronounce word-final /ŋ/ as [n] like is the default in certain dialects/sociolects of English. I've noticed that I do it sometimes, too, and something I really struggle with is pronouncing intervocalic [ŋ] without gemination or doubling; I'd pronounce singer as [siŋːə~siŋŋə] nine times out of ten even if I consciously made an effort to pronounce it as [siŋə].


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 10:31 am 
Sumerul
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the syllabification thing is moot anyway as you can always redefine the criteria as pre-stress and post-stress. i think if you do that then h/ŋ complementary distribution holds up

i heard a lot of phonologists don't really use phonemes and allophones as formal linguistic concepts anymore, but then the main other thing i've heard of is optimality theory so i dunno.

also rat-rap and rat-trap aren't minimal pairs, what?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:14 am 
Smeric
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There's still post-tonic /h/ in Irish/Scottish names like Bohannon, Houlihan, Hearlihy, vs /N/ in Kiplinger, Singer, etc. I've read on Wikipedia that in Ireland the "gh" of names like Foughey is also pronounced.
Edit: actually the H in Bohannon is probably stressed, don't know if that was original though. I've heard the name Meehan both with and without the /h/.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 11:27 am 
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:38 pm 
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:48 am 
Sumerul
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oh i mean they're not only distinguished by syllabification. there's two t's in one of them...


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 14, 2018 3:46 am 
Sanci
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