Question

Brazilian Pronunciation of nós and não

Andras Chonn Andras Chonn (1) on 24/01/14

Here's the IPA according to Wiktionary for pronouncing não:

Can someone expand on this phenomenon since I don't have much hearing exposure to Portuguese? It would be cool if someone reads a sentence say

Eu não fiz nada.

in these two pronunciations. Thanks in advance.

For nós, wiktionary gives:

I'm aware of the s|ʃ phenomenon, so no need to comment on that. However, I'm curious about the /j/ semivowel which appears to be optional.

The presence of the /j/, to my biased opinion, makes the word sound much more Brazilian (and informal) to me, so I like it, but any explanations as to how often /j/ is pronounced and to what degree?

Answers

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HI Andras:

/nə̃ũ̯/ is the way you will hear when the word não is stressed or said slowly.

/nuũ̯/ is how you will hear 90% of the times even from the anchorman on TV.

In the widely-used double negation (as in "Eu não quero, não) , the second não is always /nə̃ũ̯/ while the first can be either or.

I have recorded both in the following order:

Eu não /nə̃ũ̯/ fiz nada.

Eu não /nuũ̯/ fiz nada.

Não /nə̃ũ̯/ faça nada errado.

Não /nuũ̯/ faça nada errado.

With regards to /j/ in nós it is quite common but "incorrect" (when it comes to the pronunciation of a language I always find the term "incorrect" too strong). The same /j/ sound appears sometimes in the word "sangue" between the 'a' and the 'n' sound. My advice to you is: learn they exist but try not to repeat :).

Again I have recorded them below in the following order:

Nós /ˈnɔs/ vamos dormir.

Nós /ˈnɔjs/ vamos dormir.

Nós /ˈnɔʃ/ vamos dormir.

Nós /ˈnɔjʃ/ vamos dormir.

Also

Havia muito sangue no chão.

Havia muito sa/j/ngue no chão.

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Comments

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Olá, eu não sei diferenciar essas duas formas de pronúncia da palavra "não".

Eu sempre pronuncio da mesma forma.

No caso do nós, creio que o fonema /j/ está lá para que demos mais entonação ao 's' no final da palavra.

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