FYI: linguistics in the news: case of the missing "t"

James Smith jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM
Thu Nov 5 14:17:58 UTC 2009

That a story on dialect was deemed newsworthy by the powers that be was the reason for my bringing this to the group's attention.

James D. SMITH               |If history teaches anything
South SLC, UT                |it is that we will be sued
jsmithjamessmith at   |whether we act quickly and
                             |or slowly and cautiously.

--- On Wed, 11/4/09, James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA> wrote:

> From: James Harbeck <jharbeck at SYMPATICO.CA>
> Subject: Re: FYI: linguistics in the news: case of the missing "t"
> Date: Wednesday, November 4, 2009, 5:28 PM
> I thought perhaps it wsa going to be
> about actual
> [t] deletion in some environments, which I
> observe occasionally in my area and my own
> dialect. It's a limited set of environments,
> certainly (although Canadians glottalize /t/
> almost universally before nasals and very often
> word finally too), but it can be a syllable onset
> after a nasal, e.g., "center" [sEn at r], and in
> some environments where a glottal stop or a flap
> would be more usual, for instance near a liquid
> ("Saturday" [sæ:rde]) -- most of the time, I
> think, with a minimal but nonzero movement of the
> tongue tip.
> I know that this is hardly the first place or
> time for this to happen in English. But I have
> been noticing it a bit more of late. I don't have
> actual data to prove a trend, though.
> Those supposedly new glottalizing pronunciations
> in Utah were certainly standard in Alberta 25
> years ago already. I suspect they're not all that
> new in Utah either...
> James Harbeck.
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society -

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