According to what I have learned, -gn- was commonly pronounced /ŋn/, e.g. [ˈmaŋ.nʊs] (magnus). However, this excerpt from Encyclopædia Britannica had me wondering:
The sound represented by ng (pronounced as in English sing and represented in the IPA by /ŋ/), written ng or gn, may not have had phonemic status (in spite of the pair annus/agnus ‘year’/‘lamb,’ in which /ŋ/ may be regarded as a positional variant of /g/).
Could it be that -gn- was in fact pronounced merely /ŋ/, so that you would get annus–agnus as [ˈan.nʊs]–[ˈaŋ[ː]ʊs]? ([ː] added due to my uncertainty)? Were this the case, then I suppose one would be unable to tell the difference between e.g. *angus and agnus, so I am now left perplexed.
P. S.: I am unsure whether or not phonetic specificity should be added to the tags. (If so,
nasal should be added.) I thought it wise to inform of this.