5

As in, [ñ] or [ñ̃]. It seems to me you can make a nasal sound more nasal, maybe by stressing your nose muscles or something in that sense. Does this exist?

EDIT: Apologies, I was thinking about Nareal consonants, which do apparently exist. (see answer by me below, the other answers are also good.)

  • This isn't meant as an answer, but in addition to the ñ (eñe) there is the Portuguese "ão," which (this is the closest I can come up with) sounds like a very nasal "ow." Oh, and by the way, welcome to Conlang! Go ahead and please take our tour and visit the help center to learn about the site. You may also find Constructed Languages Meta useful for discussion about the site (I see you've reached the rep needed to use meta, so you're good.) Great first post, and have fun! – FoxElemental Jul 10 '18 at 22:37
6

Nasal consonants are not nasal because you use any "nose muscles", but because the nasal passage is open and air is passing through it as well as the mouth. To my knowledge, the nasal passage does not have different degrees of being open or closed, so there wouldn't be any way to make a nasal consonant more nasal.

However, there are definitely some sounds that are less nasal than standard nasal stops. Prenasalized and poststopped consonants, where a nasal followed by a non-nasal stop is treated as a single consonant, exist and are phonemic in some languages. There are also denasal phones, in which the nasal passage is open and used as a resonant cavity but air does not flow out the nose (think of how someone sounds when they have a stuffy nose). While denasals are not phonemic in any natlang to my knowledge, they are sometimes allophonic or phonetically present in a language that is losing its nasals.

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  • Supposedly some languages actually do distinguish two degrees of nasalisation in addition to non-nasal in vowels according to Wikipedia, but i'm unable to access the original citation and that's in vowels, not consonants: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_vowel_#Degrees – Gufferdk Apr 24 '18 at 6:51
  • @Gufferdk Vowel nasalization I would believe could have degrees, but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really know myself. – Sparksbet Apr 24 '18 at 12:36

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