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Can the modal verb "can" be pronounced as /ŋ(k)/ ?

It may be the context of a following /k/, as in "we can come and see", but I have also notice it being reversed /ŋ(k)/.

Therefore, I'd like to know whether this is true, in phonetic terms, and how widespread it is. Some academic reference to this process would be clarifying.

For example, 5:12 'and you can come over' https://youtu.be/sriYmFBvOsE?t=312

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    What is your question? What do you mean by "revesed /ŋ/?" Please make sure you are asking a question. I hear what you are referring to in the video, but you haven't actually asked a question to be answered. – Katherine Lockwood Dec 20 '16 at 0:53
  • I think this is an interesting question, and much clearer after the edit. Wouldn't the /k/ you're hearing after the nasal just be the start of the following word "come", though? Rather than a reversal, I think it's more likely that the initial /k/ is simply elided... – herisson Dec 20 '16 at 1:11
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    What I hear (and do in my own casual speech in that phrase) is that the initial /k/ of "can" becomes a glottal stop, and the remainder of the word becomes a syllabic nasal that assimilates to the place of articulation of the following /k/, thus becoming [ŋ]. As @sumelic suggeted, the [k] you hear after the [ŋ] is simply the beginning of the next word ("come). I spent some of my formative years in Texas (where the video seems to be taking place), and the phrase in the video sounds natural to me. – Katherine Lockwood Dec 20 '16 at 1:16
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    @GJC, No, I'm not set up here to make audio files. The details are: (1) syllable offset voiceless stops are glottalized before stops -- meaning that they are pronounced with closure of the glottis (they are not ejective). (2) alveolar stops (t/d/n) assimilate in position regressively to a stop. (3) In a homorganic stop cluster, the oral articulation can be delayed, leaving behind just a glottal stop, in the case of consonants that were glottalized in step (1), For instance in "pop bottle", /pb/ >(1) [p'b] >(3) [ʔb], and in "hot mama", /tm/ >(1) [t'm] >(2) [p'm] >(3) [ʔm]. – Greg Lee Dec 20 '16 at 14:38
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    To clarify: you've used the notation for phonemic transcription, /.../; but it sounds like you're actually interested in a phonetic realization of <can> as [ŋ(k)]? – ruakh Feb 25 '17 at 6:05
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Yes, it exists but more prominently when the modal, preposition or any word is unstressed and takes a schwa sound (ə). It has the ability to transform to [ŋ] as a bridge to the K in the next word. This is because there is resistance to articulate the consonant n if your following word is more strongly stressed (a nasal is a closer bridge to a glottal stop and the schwa sound invites it for linking purposes). . If you stress the modal 'can' [kæn] the [ŋ] disappears. I notice the same effect with unstressed prepositions eg "in Canada." and relative pronouns eg "when crying...".

  • This is because the effects of regressive assimilation (the upcoming [k] changing the previous nasal to [ŋ]) are more notable in the reduced unstressed syllables of connected speech, and less noticeable when carefully separated out through emphasis. – tchrist Feb 28 '17 at 15:29

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