15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


The Diachronic Coronal-Velar Nasal Relationship

Jenny Simone Lederer

University of California at Berkeley, USA

This paper investigates the phonetic factors of diachronic nasal place change from the alveolar to the velar place of articulation. Evidence is given from Cuban Spanish, Hausa, Brazilian Portuguese, and Chinese.
   There appear to be two distinct pathways leading to change. The first is a pathway in which the word-final alveolar nasal becomes velar with no independent stage of phonemic word-final nasalized vowels (Cuban Spanish, Hausa, and certain dialectal groups of Chinese). In the second pathway (Brazilian Portuguese), there is a documented stage of phonemically nasalized vowels. It is concluded that the change from alveolar-to-velar nasal is one of phonetic changes, in no way explained by an abstract notion of markedness.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Lederer, Jenny Simone (2003): "The diachronic coronal-velar nasal relationship", In ICPhS-15, 2801-2804.