views updated May 23 2018

NASAL. A term used generally and in PHONETICS for a SPEECH quality influenced by air passing through the nose. When a nasal consonant is produced, the velum is lowered to allow air to pass out through nose as well as mouth: /m, n, ŋ/ as in am, an, sing. These consonants are generally referred to as nasal consonants or nasals. Nasalization is the production of resonance in the nose to accompany a speech sound, as in French bon but not bonne. English vowels may be partially nasalized when followed by a nasal consonant. Some ACCENTS of English are more nasal than others; some people's voices are said to sound nasal or are described as having a nasal accent or a (nasal) TWANG. Nasality is a feature of most varieties of AmE and CanE and some kinds of LONDON English. It is the consequence of a setting of the VELUM which causes a degree of nasal resonance greater than the user of such a term as twang would consider normal. Reduced nasal resonance is also described as adenoidal. There is no fixed norm. See ENG, NEW ENGLAND, SCOUSE.


views updated Jun 27 2018

na·sal / ˈnāzəl/ • adj. 1. of, for, or relating to the nose: the nasal passages | a nasal spray.2. (of a speech sound) pronounced by the voice resonating in the nose, e.g., m, n, ng. Compare with oral (sense 2). ∎  (of the voice or speech) produced or characterized by resonating in the nose as well as the mouth.• n. 1. a nasal speech sound.2. hist. a nosepiece on a helmet.DERIVATIVES: na·sal·i·ty / nāˈzalitē/·sal·ly adv.


views updated May 18 2018

nasal adj. XVII. — F. nasal or medL. nāsālis, f. nāsus NOSE; see -AL1.
Also sb. nose-piece of a helmet XIV (nasel). — OF. nasal, -el — medL. nāsāle, sb. use of n. of adj.


views updated May 09 2018

nasal (nay-zăl) adj. relating to the nose. n. bone either of a pair of narrow oblong bones that together form the bridge and root of the nose. n. cavity the space inside the nose that lies between the floor of the cranium and the roof of the mouth. n. concha (turbinate bone) any of three thin scroll-like bones that form the sides of the nasal cavity.