When you make these sounds /n/ and /d/, does your tongue position at the very same place? And are the differences between the two these: (1) /n/ is differentiated by its nasal sound, (2) /d/ is differentiated by its falling away from the teeth ridge? If (2) is yes, doesn’t /n/ fall away from the same position, when it sounds in other cases?

1 Answer 1


The tongue position for both consonants is the same. When these sounds are followed by a vowel, the tongue will leave the alveolar ridge in the same way.

However, there are clear differences With /d/, the pulmonic airflow is obstructed at the alveolar ridge. Pressure builds up, with the result that there is an explosion of sound when the tongue releases the pressure. With /n/, there is no obstruction in the flow of air; it continues to flow through the nasal passage. No obstruction - no build-up of pressure - no explosion.

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