[VAR-L] The Britishisms are coming

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Thu Sep 27 15:10:12 UTC 2012

On Sep 27, 2012, at 5:44 AM, Damien Hall wrote about "American glottalization", offering the environment:

> t > ʔ / σ́_σ̆#

the following context σ̆# is both too broad and too narrow: the unaccented syllable following is not just any (no glottalization in "bottom", "metal", or "hitting"), but specifically syllabic n; and it doesn't happen only if the unaccented syllable is word-final ("cottony" has the glottalized allophone).

note: the allophone can be a glottalized stop or a glottal stop, with variation between speakers and within speakers.

note: this bit of allophony takes precedence over flapping/tapping

note: the glottal(ized) allophone is very widespread in AmE.  generally not used in Southern/Southwestern varieties, but used pretty much everywhere else.

note: the allophone is probably the result of the t syllabifying with the preceding syllable, with the result that the phoneme gets the allophone appropriate for syllable-final (including word-final) t (glottalized or glottal).

in any case, i first learned about this bit of allophony when i was an undergraduate, over 50 years ago.  it was the variant used by most of my friends, i discovered.


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