"ng" is pronounced normally [ŋ], but for some people it becomes [ng] when followed by a vowel. What's the phonological rule about this? Is it a common feature of all dialects of English?

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    It is only present in a few dialects, most notably the New York City dialect. See "Lawn Guyland". And I think it may only happen after some vowels, definitely including /ɔ/. I lived near New York City for quite a while, and pronouncing the g in "sing-along" seems totally wrong, whereas pronouncing it in "Long Island" and "wrong of me" doesn't. (I don't do it myself, so I could be wrong about this.) – Peter Shor Oct 31 '11 at 12:13
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    I speak a pretty typical General American dialect, and I've never heard this. I think we can pretty safely say that this is a dialectal feature. – JSBձոգչ Oct 31 '11 at 12:24

Basically, the rule is: when the ng comes at the end of a word, you do not pronounce the g (ŋ), and when it is in the middle of a word and followed by a vowel, you do pronounce the g (ŋɡ). The origin of this phonetic g-deletion is called Ng coalescence. However, some dialects treat two words (e.g. wrong of) as one (wrongof) and pronounce it accordingly. This is not normative pronunciation. In the linked article, Wikipedia lists some of the dialects in which it is common:

This is particularly associated with English English accents in an area of northern England and the Midlands, including the cities of Birmingham (see Brummie), Manchester, Liverpool (see Scouse), Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent. It is also associated with some American English accents in the New York area.

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    Exceptions: when a suffix is added to a word ending "-ng", the ŋ is usually retained ("singing", "stringy", "bringer") except for a few suffixes such as comparative "-er" and "-est" ("longer", "strongest", which have ŋg). Oddly, agentive "-er" is not an exception: when "longer" means "one who longs", it has ŋ. – Colin Fine Nov 1 '11 at 12:26
  • @Colin: +1 I believe most of that is in the Wiki article, but it's helpful to have here too! – Daniel Nov 1 '11 at 12:58

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