Chapter 128: The palatal nasal

Feature information for this chapter can be found in feature 128.
[ɲ] exists as a major allophone34
[ɲ] exists as a minor allophone12
[ɲ] exists only in loanwords6
[ɲ] does not exist24
Ternate Chabacanosunyádream (soñar)
Palenqueroañoyear (año)
Papiamentuñetugrandchild (nieto)
Cape Verdean of Bravavizinhuneighbour (vizinho)
Santomepanhacatch (apanhar)
Batavia Creolefinyufine (fino)
Reunion Creolemanyermanner (manière)
Tayoswaɲetake care (soigmer)

However, three Portuguese-based languages lack [ɲ] (Angolar, Diu Indo-Portuguese, Korlai), and in the French-based creoles, the counterpart of French [ɲ] is often regarded as a kind of nasalized [j̃] (this sound also exists in Papiamentu and the Portuguese-based Gulf of Guinea creoles).

In the English-based creoles, [ɲ] is often said to be found in loanwords from African languages such as Jamaican and Nicaraguan Creole English nyam ‘eat’, Nengee nyan ‘eat’, Ghanaian Pidgin English nyama ‘spoilt’. But in some languages, [ɲ] is also described for examples such as Gullah ɲu ‘new’, Cameroon Pidgin English nyus ‘news’. On the other hand, Mesthrie (2013) describes Fanakalo nyama ‘meat’ as having an initial cluster [nj-]. Thus, some of the apparent differences are due to different descriptions of the languages. [ɲ] exists in Malay (e.g. Singapore Bazaar Malay banyak ‘much’), but not in Arabic, so in Juba Arabic and Kinubi it is only found in loanwords (from Bari and Swahili, respectively).