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For example, the word かばん (bag) is pronounced kabaN when it's alone but what if another word like と (and) comes after it? Would it be still pronounced kabaNto, or should you consider the following と and say kabanto?

  • There is a definite difference between say, きんえん and きねん, but the example you gave doesn't seem all that different to me. To some degree the why the ん is pronounced is from the mora after it. せんぱい gets close to an 'm' sound than せんせい does, because of the need to sound the ぱ. Thats just my observation though and i dont know the specifics of it. – Joe Staines Apr 11 '15 at 10:07
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Yes, it does. For example, ん is pronounced like [n] in かばんと、かばんの、and かばんで (before [t], [n] or [d]), like [ng]/[ŋ] (as in siNGer) in かばんが and かばんか (before [g] or [k]), and like [m] in かばんも (before [m], [p], or [b]).

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Adding to the other great answers, with かばん, the N, for linguists, is a uvular nasal /N/, almost like a real nasal vowel.

The original /N/ pronunciation is also retained, or become a nasal vowel before approximants (like y and w-sounds: や、ゆ、よ、わ...)as in ほんを、こんや、...

In general, the ん sound can also vary depending on the speaker. Although, all this stuff is what I've learned so far. Please correct my errors too!

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