LINGUIST List 14.3008

Tue Nov 4 2003

Sum: Assimilation of Nasals to Voiced Glides

Editor for this issue: Steve Moran <>


  1. Arum Budi Astuti, Assimilation of nasals to voiced glides

Message 1: Assimilation of nasals to voiced glides

Date: Fri, 31 Oct 2003 19:19:33 +0000
From: Arum Budi Astuti <>
Subject: Assimilation of nasals to voiced glides

On October 23rd I posted a query (Linguist 14.2907) on the
assimilation of nasals to glides. I am so grateful and personally
thank all people who responded to my question. From the responses I
received, I understand that glides, as well as vowels, have the
tendency of being nasalized when they come into contact with
nasals. This has been prooved by spectograms studies (Anonymous). So
there is nothing unnatural about this process. As suggested by Marc
Picard, In case of /man jaqu:lu/ --> /maj~ j~aqu:lu/, there are two
diachronic stages : /n/ first nasalizes the following glide through
progressive assimilation, and then itself assimilates to the
glide. Synchronically, the result is /nj/ --> /jj~/. In a separate
e-mail response, John McCarthy explained that the [n] is taking on all
of the characteristics of the following [j] except for its
nasality. This process is best understood if we see some discussions
on autosegmental or nonlinear phonology.
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