I'm making a conlang and would like to include the consonant clusters /hm/ /hn/ /hɳ/ and /hŋ/ with /h/ realized as an audible nasal emission.

I don't have to worry about how these clusters would be realized word-finally, since my current project's phonotactic rules do not permit final consonant clusters.

Since the IPA makes it very easy to describe the sounds of a conlang, I am hoping I don't have to invent a symbol for the nasal emission I mentioned, or worse yet transcribe it with an asterisk that references some narrative description of the sound.

  • You have good answer from Tristan. As you are a speech therapist, it might also be useful to know that, as children find [s] + [nasal] clusters difficult (indeed competence in the production of [s] itself is acquired relatively late), one of their strategies for the production of words like smoke is to replace the [sm] cluster with a voiceless nasal: [m̥əʊk]. The audible escape of air through the nasal cavity in concert with the bilabial resonance (heard mainly on the release of the [m̥]) are similar enough in terms of there being voiceless friction ... (1/2) Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 23:18
  • ... followed by bilabial nasal resonance for a listener to intuit that an /sm/ cluster is being aimed at. Commented Mar 1, 2022 at 23:20

1 Answer 1


I think what you're calling an audible nasal emission is just a voiceless nasal e.g. /m̥/, /n̥/, /ɳ̥/, & /ŋ̥/ (the diacritic here is not always well-rendered, but is a ring below).

By definition, a nasal consonant is an audible sound produced by airflow through the nose (i.e. a nasal emission). They are typically voiced, but they do not need to be, and many languages, including Welsh and Tibetan include voiceless nasals. Having an /h/ combine with a voiced nasal to produce a voiceless nasal (either as a single consonant, or before the voiced one) seems entirely naturalistic.

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