When we hear the word nasality, we tend to think of New York City and her 5 boroughs. Excessive nasality is not limited just to New Yorkers though. I have found various forms of nasality common in certain pockets of both the United States and Canada.
If you are from Philadelphia, Detroit, or Mississauga (Ontario), there is a good chance that both your long e (he) and long a (day) sounds are enunciated through your nose. If you live in the Midwest, it is likely that you send your short a sound (gas) through your nasal passages; and, if you hail from Texas, you probably have a twang, sending many of your non-nasal sounds where they do not belong.
In the English language, there are only three sounds that should vibrate in your nose and they are referred to as your nasals: the m, the n, and the ng sounds. What this means is that any word you say with any of those letters or sounds will vibrate in your nose to some degree. Words like, Maine, plan, and ring.
The problem with excessive nasality is that you are sending more than your ‘nasals’ through your nose and that is why you may have a whiny sound or a twang.
The good news is that nasality can be eliminated with a bit of practice and the retraining of your inner ear.
To see if you are nasal, place a finger on each side of your nose very gently. No pressure. Say the word believe. Did you feel any vibration? Again, just grazing your nose with your fingers, say the word away. Did you vibrate? Now say the word and. Any vibration?
If your nose vibrated on any of the three examples above, you have some nasal issues. If you vibrated on all three sounds, you have serious nasal issues.
On the Before & After video page, you can hear how Katie eliminated her nasal twang once she began powering her voice from her chest cavity.
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