[Ads-l] /d/ for flapped t

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 15 05:15:41 UTC 2014

/d/ for flapped t

Are there people who claim to be able to hear the distinction, to be able
to make the distinction in connected speech, or even to be able to feel the
distinction in their mouths?

I can do all of this with the /l/ of "cool" and none of it with the
supposed "flapped" /t/ of "bottom." It sounds like [d] and feels like [d].
But, as we colored say, "that's just me."

For the record, I *want* the distinction to be real. But, I can't persuade
myself that it is. Maybe it's dialect clash and a good course in standard
English phonetics could teach me to hear it.


On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 11:45 PM, Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Ben Zimmer <bgzimmer at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: /d/ for flapped t
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> On Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 10:06 PM, Randy Alexander wrote:
> >
> >ca=C2=B7thar=C2=B7tic
> >/k=C9=99=CB=88TH=C3=A4rdik/
> >
> > This is from a simple google search "define cathartic".  Has anyone come
> > across this?  It's not clear to me where they're pulling their data from,
> > but some of you might have a better clue.
> Google's dictionary data is licensed from OUP. You can find the same
> phonetic representation in the US English entry on Oxford Dictionaries
> Online (corresponding to NOAD):
> http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/american_english/cathartic
> The use of /d/ for the alveolar flap in US English was a change made
> in the third edition of NOAD. This brings it into line with the
> decision to use /d/ in similar cases in OED3, though there it's
> represented in IPA -- thus: /k=C9=99=CB=88=CE=B8=C9=91rd=C9=AAk/.
> The OED's choice of /d/ for American flapped /t/ has been criticized
> -- quite rightly, to my mind.  Larry Trask, who served as a consultant
> to OED3 in its planning stages, asked the Linguist List about this
> decision in 2001 and found an overwhelmingly negative reaction:
> http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/12/12-2166.html
> http://www.linguistlist.org/issues/12/12-2228.html
> --bgz
> --=20
> Ben Zimmer
> http://benzimmer.com/
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

More information about the Ads-l mailing list