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Malay and Indonesian are considered to be very phonetically spelled with the usually cited exception being that orthographic "e" can represent either /e/ or /ə/.

In both orthographies the sound /ŋ/ is represented with the digraph "ng".

But is it guaranteed that every case of orthographic "ng" is pronounced as /ŋ/ or are there cases, assumedly at syllable edges, where orthographic "ng" is actually /ng/?

(I know /ŋg/ is possible and is spelled "ngg". Also I believe there are a bunch of sandhi/assimilation rules involving nasals, but I haven't learned those yet.)

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    It's virtually universal in all languages that have or can produce clusters of nasal+stop that the nasals assimilate to the position of articulation of the stop. In English, if you were to say "A dozen oysters make me feel too full, but the first ten go down easily enough", how likely is it that the /n/ in ten would in fact be pronounced [ŋ]? If you're a native speaker, it would be hard not to assimilate it; it would sound strange if you didn't, and might draw attention to the carefulness of the articulation. As for Bahasa, I never heard the cluster /nɡ/, but I'm not native. – jlawler Nov 26 '14 at 16:31
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    A good question, though. I'd imagine if it does happen, it only happens across morpheme boundaries. In Spanish, there is a single unwritable word, because it has a syllable that ends with an l, and another that begins with an l, both heard distinctly in speech (sal + le). But ll is/was a separate letter and has a separate sound. In English th and sh are digraphs, but when one syllable ends with t/s and the next begins with h, you just have to recognize the morphemes (pothead, posthumous, etc). – user0721090601 Nov 26 '14 at 16:54
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    It's the verb salir in the informal singular imperative sal, followed by the indirect object pronoun le. – user0721090601 Nov 26 '14 at 17:12
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    @jlawler Definitely not for Russian. in Russian /ng/ never becomes [ŋ]. There is no ŋ sound in Russian at all. – Anixx Nov 26 '14 at 17:41
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    FWIW, Finnish has both /ŋ/ and /ng/ (in loanwords), and they're both spelled "ng". And yes, this causes confusion and inconsistency: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finnish_orthography#Velar_nasal – lambshaanxy Nov 27 '14 at 3:44

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