Nasal vowel

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IPA mark ◌̃
IPA number 424
IPA character description above set Tilde
Unicode U + 0303
HTML (dec.) & # 771;
X-SAMPA ~ or _~
Kirshenbaum <nzd>

A nasal vowel is formed by lowering the velum so that pulmonary air can escape through the nasal cavity and mouth at the same time. Nasal vowels are opposed to oral vowels, in which the nasal cavity is closed by the contact of the velum with the back of the pharynx.

Nasal vowels with a phonological character are typical of French , but they also occur phonematically in Gheg - Albanian , Portuguese , Breton , in Sino-Tibetan languages , in Polish and in Kashubian . Some German dialects (e.g. Swabian and Bavarian ) also use nasal vowels.

Due to the widespread use of French as a world language in the 17th century, nasal vowels, together with French foreign words, penetrated almost all cultural languages, including German, where the word restaurant is pronounced with a nasal vowel in the standard language.

In the phonetic transcription are nasal vowels or nasalisation usually by a tilde ( . B. [O] for nasal z o ) in the past by a Ogonek ( ˛ ) under the vowel.

The nasal consonants are to be distinguished from the nasal vowels , in which the pulmonary air only escapes through the nasal cavity.

Spelling and pronunciation

French & Portuguese

While in French nasal vowels the soft palate is always lowered from the beginning of the vowel, in Portuguese after the start of the intonation of the vowel it is approached the base of the tongue with a delay without touching it. This often creates a diphthong sound. In contrast to French fin [ fɛ̃ ], German 'Ende' , the Portuguese adverb bem 'gut' sounds more like [ bɛĩ ]. And the pronunciation of the letter group -im in fim [ ], German 'Ende' , actually rather [ fiĩ ], differs only slightly from that of the group -inh- [ -iɲ- ] in Martinho [ mɐrˈtiɲu ], German 'Martin' . Accordingly, the adjective bom 'gut' is spoken more like [ bow̃ ] and not like the French adjective bon [ bɔ̃ ], German 'gut' .


In Polish , nasal vowels are identified by an ogonek (̨): these are Ą and Ę . The ± is basically [⁠ ɔ ⁠] , the ę [⁠ ɛ ⁠] given; before plosives (plosives) but it is in [⁠ ɔ ⁠] or [⁠ ɛ ⁠] and the corresponding nasal separated consonants before b and p to [ ɔm, ɛm ], before C (ci) and DZ (dzi) to [ ɔɲ, ɛɲ ], before c, d and t to [ ɔn, ɛn ] and before g and k to [ ɔŋ, ɛŋ ]. In practice, the vowels are only pronounced nasally before sibilants , the ą also at the end of the word (there the ę is pronounced like e ).


The Kashubian has two nasal vowels, namely the rear nasal vowel Ą and the front nasal vowel oil . The ± is basically [⁠ ɔ ⁠] , the ã [⁠ ɑ ⁠] pronounced.

Indo-Aryan languages

In Hindi , all vowels (short: a, i, u ; long: a :, e :, i :, o :, u :, æ :, ɔ:) also occur nasally. Nasal vowels are very common, especially in plural endings. Also Punjabi and Bengali know Nasal.

In the Indian scriptures there are two signs for the nasalization of vowels: Chandrabindu ( Devanagari : ँ, m̐) and Anusvara (ं, ṁ). In Hindi, letters are always nasalized with Chandrabindu, in anusvara there is a separation of vowel and nasal before plosives and nasal consonants (see Anusvara). In the Arabic alphabets of Urdu and Punjabi, the character Nun-e ghunna indicates the nasalization of a vowel.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: nasal vowel  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Fialuur i Voghel Sccyp e ltinisct  - Internet Archive (Small Dictionary of Albanian and Latin), Shkodër 1895th