The recordings accompanying this illustration are of a 32-year-old male native of Hanoi.
The voiced plosives are canonically, but not consistently, realized as implosives. Initial /t tʰ/ are apico-dental, lamino-alveolar, or contiguous apico-dental lamino-alveolar (‘denti-alveolar’, Harris 2006), while /ɗ n l/ are apico-alveolar.
Some previous treatments such as that of Thompson (1965) recognize an unaspirated, unaffricated palatal stop /c/. However, in the speech of many younger Vietnamese native speakers from Hanoi, such as that of the present consultant, this segment is consistently realized as an affricate [t͡ɕ], a well-attested areal feature (Harris 2006). The tongue body contacts the alveolar or post-alveolar region during the production of both the palatal nasal [ɲ] and the palatal affricate [t͡ɕ] in initial position (Henderson 1965).
While some varieties of Vietnamese maintain a distinction in the phonetic realizations of orthographic |tr-| and |ch-|, these onsets are completely merged in modern Hanoi Vietnamese. The highly salient (and socially stigmatized) merger of /l/ and /n/ > /l/, characteristic of the speech of many lower- and working-class Vietnamese in the Red River Delta, is sometimes consciously manipulated to humorous and/or pejorative effect in colloquial Hanoi speech.
In syllable-initial position /p j r/ occur in a small number of foreign (mainly French) loans, e.g. panne ‘breakdown’, garage, billiard. For many speakers, however, /p/ is realized as [b/ɓ] and /r/ as [z].
Hanoi Vietnamese licenses eight segments in coda position: three unreleased voiceless obstruents /p t k/, three nasals /m n ŋ/, and two approximants /j w/. In final position /t n/ are canonically alveolar, though it is not clear if they are chiefly laminal or apical. While the EGG study of Michaud (2004) found no evidence of glottalization accompanying unreleased final stops /p t k/, the laryngoscopic study of Edmondson et al. (2010) suggests that glottal reinforcement (in the sense of Esling, Fraser & Harris 2005) may not always be absent in this context.
Although the phonetic realization of the stops /ŋ k/ following /i e ɛ/ have sometimes been described as palatal [ɲ c], they are actually pre-velar [ŋ] and [k], with no point of alveolar contact (Henderson 1965). The conditioning vowels tend to be shortened and centralized, and may be produced with a noticeable palatal offglide.
There do exist a few instances of true velars following /ɛ/.
Following back rounded vowels /u o ɔ/, the velar stops /k ŋ/ are produced as doubly articulated labial-velars [kp ŋm]. This articulation is sometimes accompanied by a visible puffing of the cheeks as air becomes trapped in the oral cavity.
Note the differences between the doubly articulated labial-velars and plain final bilabials:
As with velar fronting, there are rare exceptions to the realization of final velars as labialvelar after back rounded vowels: compare bong with boong.