--- Christophe wrote:

> There is an equivalent problem in Dutch, where normally [N] appears only
> finally, like in the word |koning| /'koniN/: king. Unfortunately, they happen
> to have a queen: |koningin| /' (yep, the dot marks the supposed
> syllable break), and this word is especially difficult to pronounce for many
> Dutch people (I even saw a report only about that on TV, to tell you how
> important it is :)) ). When I hear Dutch people using this word (which is not
> unfrequent :)) ), they often stumble upon it and have to pronounce it twice,
> and the actual pronunciation vary widely between people :)) . I myself
> pronounce it simply [koniNin], but that's because I trained myself to
> pronounce initial [N] :) .

To be honest, I have never noticed any such problem. It's true that we once had
a politician who had a tendency toward a very strange pronunciation of certain
Dutch words; he used to say "kannegin". But it seems to me, that if one can
pronounce [N] in the middle of a word, (s)he can pronounce it at its beginning
as well.
Perhaps this is a southern problem as well? (Gosh, it seems that those
Brabanders and Limburgers really have a problem pronouncing their own language
:))) )
Or is it just that some people might find it hard to pronounce a [N] between
two [n]'s?


"Originality is the art of concealing your source." - Franklin P. Jones

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