[Ads-l] /d/ for flapped /t/

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 15 13:09:19 UTC 2014

I believe I can hear the difference although it is subtle.

/d/ sounds (and feels) to me minutely longer and more emphatic. (A
phonologist could say that better.)

Many of us will remember entire classrooms of students of whom only two or
three could hear the difference between /a/ and /C/ (e.g., "pa" and "paw,"
"hottie" and "haughty").  Practice helped, but it didn't help everybody.


On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 3:12 AM, Paul A Johnston, Jr. <
paul.johnston at wmich.edu> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
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> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       "Paul A Johnston, Jr." <paul.johnston at WMICH.EDU>
> Subject:      /d/ for flapped /t/
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> What I see here is this, the old Bloomfieldian argument for archiphonemes:
> the distinction between /d/ and /t/ is neutralized under the flap
> intervocalically, so people can perceive it as a /d/ just as easily as they
> can as a /t/.  To my ear, the flap is too fast to be a true voiced stop.  I
> can produce a true /d/ intervocalically, but it does not sound like
> anything I (or other Americans)would use in everyday connected discourse.
> Maybe if one had to ("I said LADDER, not LATTER.")  Otherwise, there's no
> difference in the consonant; any difference has to do with the allophony of
> the vowels before it.  I have [aI] in writer, but [AI] in rider, for
> instance.
> And yet...I lived in Scotland, where, even among speakers who have
> approximants for /r/ in other positions, intervocalic /r/ is nearly always
> a flap, and yet. it sounded slightly different from my flapped /t/.  It
> sounded more "/r/-like", though I can't pin down what exactly that means.
> It was probably my American English brain imposing a perception of
> difference.  I'd have to get the instruments out on that one.
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