Date: Tue, 14 Oct 1997 18:59:59 -0500


Subject: Re: pre-nasalized stops

I'm a graduate student at Georgetown doing a term paper on pre-nasalized

stops in white Southern English as a result of African and/or African

American influence.

I've noticed this feature in my own speech (I'm a white Southerner) and

believe it may have African or AAVE origins. The feature I'm talking

about is distinct from nasalized vowels. An example would be something

like mboy for boy or ndoor for door especially in emphasized utterances

but also as a general rule. I've done waveform analysis of my own speech

compared to a Californian's and found that many of my /b/ and /d/'s are

not stops at all.

If anyone knows anything about this feature in WSE, AAVE, Creoles, or West

African languages, could you please let me know?

Are you sure it's nasalizaion and not just onset of phonation preceding the

stop closure? I've seen/heard this pre-voiced-stop phonation in the speech

of people whose phonotactics would not have been influenced by African

American speech. I can produce what I think you mean, with nasalization

extending about half-way through the [o], both with and without pre-stop

phonation. When the pre-stop phonation occurs, it is of course nasalized.

I associate this nasalization with my South Midland dialect rather than

with the presence of a nasal consonant. You have a fascinating topic.

Good luck with it.