For example, as in はい and ます, I think は and ま each happen to have a long sound in addition to a nasal sound. Is it real?

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    @ Haruto Nagasaki A quick correction, but the term "phoneme" doesn't actually refer to a physical sounds, but instead to abstract representations of phonological units in language. Perhaps you are referring to nasalized consonants? I'm not clear on exactly what you are asking. – kandyman Oct 25 '17 at 16:47
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    Yes, could you please clarify your question a bit? You've accepted an answer that doesn't appear to address the question you've asked, and your examples are confusing, so I don't think I really understand what you're trying to ask. – snailcar Oct 28 '17 at 6:46


Before answering the questioner's (or OP's) question I would like to define the term of phoneme.
According to Wikipedia a phoneme is defined as "one of the units of sound that distinguish one word from another in a particular language. ... Phonemes are normally conceived of as abstractions of discrete segmental speech sounds (vowels and consonants)". I understand it as 音素{おんそ} which has "母音{ぼいん} vowel" and "子音{しいん} consonant" in Japanese language.
I'm going to answer only OP's question. The core of the question is, I understand, how "母音 vowel" and "子音 consonant" of Japanese language are pronounced, so I reject the comment about other than Japanese language to my answer including about the meaning of phoneme.

I think は and ま each happen to have a long sound in addition to a nasal sound. Is it real?

  • As for a long sound, the answer is yes.
    We pronounce は like "ha" and "haa" where "aa" is meant a long vowel. And we pronounce ま like "ma", "mma", "maa" and "mmaa" where "mm" is meant a long consonant.
    As you know vowels could be pronounced elongated. As for consonants, "h" sound is a stop consonant also known as a plosive or oral occlusive, so you couldn't elongate the sound of "h", while "m" sound is a nasal consonant, so you could elongate it.

  • As for a nasal sound, the answer is no except for "m" sound which I explained above.
    But some people like Eiko Segawa who is a famous Japanese female singer could pronounce all vowels in nasal sound.
    Listen to her sing a song, here.
    So は and ま each happen to have a nasal sound when pronounced by Ms. Segawa.


I think は and ま each happen to have a long sound in addition to a nasal sound. Is it real?



  • 最初は長音化(long sound)について考えます。
    「は ha」の内の「h」の音は破裂音ですので伸ばせません。母音である「a」は「は~い」のようにいくらでも伸ばせます。
    「ま ma」の内の「m」の音は子音ですが鼻音ですので口を閉じたまま鼻から息を出しながら「ム~」とうなるように音を出せば伸ばせます。当然母音である「a」の音は伸ばせますので、「ま~」「ム~ま」「ム~ま~」のように3通りの方法で長音化できます。 

  • 次に鼻音化(nasal sound)について考えます。
    「は ha」の「h」も「a」も鼻音にはなりませんので「は」は鼻音になりません。「ま ma」の「m」が鼻音になることは既に言いました。しかし母音である「a」は鼻音になりません。 結局「ま」の最初の「m」だけが自然に鼻音になります。




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