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

Joel S. Berson Berson at ATT.NET
Sun Nov 16 17:40:53 UTC 2014


I have a hypothesis -- Many metropolitan New Yorkers distinguish more 
phonemes* than many other Americans due to their heritage from 
earlyNew York City, which had the most heterogeneous and polyglot 
population of the colonial American period?

* I say phonemes since some of us can hear "latter" vs "ladder", 
"betting' vs. "bedding". "writing" vs. "riding", "mat" vs. "mad", 
"lats" vs. "lads".  Or are these T's and D's already phonemes?  Are 
the altered vowels of the pre-/t/ and pre-/d/ environments also phonemes?

Joel

At 11/16/2014 12:12 PM, Laurence Horn wrote:
>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.
>
>LH
> >
> > ----- Original Message -----
> >> From: "Joel S. Berson" <Berson at ATT.NET>
> >> To: ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU
> >> 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.
> >>
> >> ------------------------------------------------------------
> >> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
> >>
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
>
>------------------------------------------------------------
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