I teach English to elementary students in Korea. One day, I noticed an African American female teacher pronounce the word,"singer" differently- "sinGer" , a strong G-sound. Is it common in America? Recently while watching CNN, I saw an basketball star pronounce this word the same way. I just want to know whether it has to do with region, ethnicity, or etc. I would appreciate if you could let me know. Thanks.
The pronunciation of /ŋg/ where standard English uses just /ŋ/ is a common feature of many different varieties of English. Within the UK it is very common in areas such as Norfolk and Birmingham. It is also a feature of many varieties of USA English.
Learners of English quite often use an inserted /ɡ/ or /k/ after /ŋ/. The reason for this is that in many languages [ŋ] only appears as an allophone of /n/. This happens when the /n/ precedes a velar consonant, in other words /ɡ/ or /k/.
It varies from dialect to dialect, with guidelines for when it's pronounced [ŋ] and when it's pronounced [ŋg] spelled out for RP (UK "received pronunciation") in A manual of English phonetics and phonology : twelve lessons with an integrated course in phonetic transcription, page 53. In summary, it's [ŋg] when it's found in the middle of a morpheme, or at the end of an morpheme to which the comparative suffix -er or the superlative suffix -est is added, and [ŋ] any other time it's at the end of a morpheme.
It depends on where the syllable break is. In singer the break is between the g and e, making the ING a sound of its own without the hard g sound. This also applies to ng with other vowels such as ang, ung, ong. To further illustrate, finger where the hard g is pronounced has the syllable break between the n and g, thus separating the g from the ing pronunciation. If the g is in a syllable with the vowel n combination, then it is a sound of its own, if separated by a syllable break the g is heard in the pronunciation. Any other pronunciation is incorrect and butchery of the word as they are changing the syllable breaks.
protected by user140086 May 6 '16 at 11:57
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