Theiling Online    Sitemap    Conlang Mailing List HQ   

YAE/SPT flapped [t] vs. [4] (was: Stress and consonants)

From:Roger Mills <rfmilly@...>
Date:Wednesday, October 25, 2006, 16:59
In this regard-- I'm quite sure I don't neutralize the intervocalic t::d
contrast in e.g. latter::ladder etc.  The -d- is definitely voiced, plus the
vowel is longer.

I do hear a more-or-less genuine [4] in some people's pronunc. of initial
"thr-" esp. in the word "three". I'm not sure whether parody-British "veddy"
for "very" is using a true [4] or not, however; I don't hear any

I can feel a definite difference in tongue-shape between Engl. potter or pot
o'[gold] vs. Span. para (even when I americanize its final /a/ to [@]-- so
it's not the surrounding vowels that make the difference.)
Impressionistically, it seems the back/body of the tongue is higher for the
Engl. t, while it's lowered for the Span. r. Also, the tongue tip makes
contact slightly further back for Span. r. This could probably be confirmed
by X-ray photography. Of course I'm not a native speaker of Span., but have
years of study, use and listening. (At one point, fluent enough that casual
listeners would ask what country I was from-- very ego-boosting!!)

I recall a short film many years ago about the Argentine game of "pato"--
sort of like polo but using a dead duck (pato) as the "ball" (!!)-- the
American commentator pronounced the word as if it were Amer. "potto", with
the flapped t, and it stuck out like a sore thumb.


Mark J. Reed <markjreed@...>