So I'm pretty sure I understand labialized [ʷ] and some of the other superscripts, but I don't fully understand palatalized [ʲ]. An example of palatalized is Abkhaz, Selkup, Bulgarian, and Yanesha. The way I imagine the [ʲ] to work is you put the tip of your tongue on the hard palette while you make whatever sound, like the image below.
To start it looks like I got that wrong, it is the middle of the tongue that should touch the hard palette:
In technical terms, palatalization refers to the secondary articulation of consonants by which the body of the tongue is raised toward the hard palate and the alveolar ridge during the articulation of the consonant. Such consonants are phonetically palatalized.
"Pure" palatalization is a modification to the articulation of a consonant, where the middle of the tongue is raised, and nothing else. It may produce a laminal articulation of otherwise apical consonants such as /t/ and /s/.
But in those phonologies above, they palatalize these consonants:
So there are nasals, stops, approximants, and fricatives in there. Placing the middle of my tongue on the hard palette while doing a [qʲ] or [ʁʲ] or [ɡʲ] feels difficult, basically I am just pressing my tongue from back all the way to the middle, but trying to avoid touching the velar area, but I don't see how sound can escape in both places the tongue is touching. Wondering if this is "double articulation" sort of thing, or how to do it better.
Then for the [lʲ], I can do the normal [l] and just press the middle of my tongue up to the hard palette, but it doesn't really change the sound.
The [tʲ] (when I do it) sounds sort of like either [tc] or [tɕ] or [tʃ]. Then [pʲ] sounds sort of like [pɕ], so I guess that is a different sound.
Finally, I don't see how [nʲ] can be any different than [ɲ]. And I don't see how [mʲ] will have any effect since the mouth is closed.
So basically, when I try to do it, only [tʲ] and [pʲ] seem (a) possible and (b) make any obvious sound difference.
Wondering what I am doing wrong or what I should be looking for, and if my assumptions and such are missing things. I'm also wondering if the "ʲ" aspect is occurring during the main sound being created, or before/after. I assume the effect it is trying to achieve is happening during the main sound. But I dunno, maybe you could write [pʲ] as
pç in some orthography. Though that might work for stops, not sure what the non-stops would look like, maybe