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

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Nov 16 17:12:53 UTC 2014

On Nov 16, 2014, at 11:59 AM, Paul A Johnston, Jr. wrote:

> That could be. In many dialects, you'll have vowel allophony--frequently length, but often quality as well, distinguishing pre-/t/ from pre-/d/ environments.  Many of my students (from various parts of MI) have front-side Canadian Raising, and so, they distinguish writer/rider as [@I] vs. [aI] before the flap (others have length distinctions alone, like Chicago or Cleveland).  I don't know about latter/ladder and the like, since Great Lakes dialects can turn the /ae/ into [eae] before voiced and voiceless consonants alike.  On the other hand, I have the usual Metro NY distinction in latter/ladder; most frequently, the first one has a centralized [ae], the second, a fronter, longer and slightly raised [ae] in my case (occasionally an ingliding diphthong).

Is that usual in Metro NY?  I have the length distinction you mention in "writer"/"rider" without the Canadian Raising quality distinction, and I have completely different vowels in the closed syllables of "lad" and "(s)lat" or of "mad"/"mat", but I feel impressionistically as though I merge "latter"/"ladder" and "matter"/"madder".  Of course, as Labov would point out, maybe I don't.

> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>> Sent: Saturday, November 15, 2014 3:48:59 PM
>> Subject: Re: /d/ for flapped /t/
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>> Poster:       "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
>> Subject:      Re: /d/ for flapped /t/
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Answering Wilson also.
>> I can hear a difference when I speak knowing that there might be a
>> difference.  And it sounds (I think!) somewhat like what Jon is
>> describing.  I think I even lower the tone of the "a" when I say
>> "ladder" as compared to "latter".  But am I biasing myself to prove a
>> preconceived hypothesis?
>> Probably my test would only tell me what I can *hear* if I listened
>> to someone else speak a (potential minimal) pair -- such as
>> latter/ladder, butter/budder, better/bedder.  But then I would have
>> to listen to someone who makes the distinction in speaking, wouldn't
>> I?
>> Joel
>> At 11/15/2014 08:09 AM, Jonathan Lighter 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.
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> ------------------------------------------------------------
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