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

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sat Nov 15 20:37:46 UTC 2014


It’s hard to tell, but I think I can hear a longer vowel before the “d” in rider than the “t” in writer, which makes sense. That seeming difference notwithstanding, I think context would be the key factor in determining which word a listener hears. BB

> On Nov 15, 2014, at 5:09 AM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> 
> -
> 
> 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.
> 
> JL
> 
> On Sat, Nov 15, 2014 at 3:12 AM, Paul A Johnston, Jr. <
> paul.johnston at wmich.edu> wrote:
> 
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> 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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