Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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The common word for "thank you" in German is "danke", pronounced as two syllables, something like [ˈdaŋ.kə].

But in casual speech, this is occasionally reduced to a mumbled sound along the lines of [ŋ.kə]... but is it really two syllables? When I thought about it this morning, I wonder whether what we have here is actually a prenasalised velar stop, so something more like [ᵑkə] (or [ŋkə], if that doesn't show up), with one syllable. (I don't think it's usually a plain velar stop, [kə]—I think there's always at least some degree of prenasalisation.)

Prenasalised stops in German... whodathunkit? (Though it's not a phonemic one, granted.)

Tags: languages
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