FW: New Britain, Connecticut

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OAK.CATS.OHIOU.EDU
Fri Dec 28 18:23:58 UTC 2001

The "expected" medial consonant here would not be the flapped-t, which is
heard in 'butter', 'fatter', 'bottle', etc. in "ordinary" American
English.  The glottal stop IS common in 'mountain' and 'mitten', and not
just in CT; but the alternate form is [t], as in NYC, if I'm not
mistaken.  But does NYC use [t] in 'bottle'?  Surely not the glottal stop,
which is used in this word in much Brit. Eng. but not in Am. Eng., as far
as I know.

The words I cite in class as "disputed" in Am. Eng. are generally proper
names, like Clinton, Scranton, Hinton, etc., where spelling pronunciation
tends to produce [t] medially (foreign reporters routinely pronounce the
first ex. with [t], RP style).  New Britain would fall under this same
rubric.  It doesn't seem to me that 'mountain' and 'mitten' and 'button'
etc. are regionally differentiated outside of NYC/NJ--but I'm open to

At 06:12 PM 12/27/01 -0500, you wrote:
>What Alice refers to below is true in native central CT dialect.  Words
>affected include mountain, mitten, and the like, with (expected) medial
>flapped-t being realized as a glottal stop, when followed by syllabic n.
>These speakers do not have the glottal stop in words such as bottle, as
>characteristic of NYC dialects.  I do not know of other clear markers to
>this dialect.  It is an r-ful dialect, as are most to the west of the
>Connecticut River, within the state.
>This from personal observation (over about 20 years as a resident of the
>area) by a lexicographer, not formally trained in phonetics.
>larry (horn), further comments?
>Frank Abate
>-----Original Message-----
>From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
>Of Alice Faber
>Sent: Wednesday, December 26, 2001 2:52 PM
>Subject: Re: New Britain, Connecticut
>AAllan at AOL.COM said:
> >I got a phone message from a reporter inquiring about the dialect of New
> >Britain, Connecticut. Any experts I can refer him to? Any comments?
>Thanks -
>Did it have to do with the pronunciation of the city name? It's very common
>in Connecticut to express scorn for the pronunciation with [?] for /t/
>(even though this pronunciation is ubiquitous).
>I know just enough about CT dialect stuff to know that I don't know enough
>to be an open-ended expert.

Beverly Olson Flanigan         Department of Linguistics
Ohio University                     Athens, OH  45701
Ph.: (740) 593-4568              Fax: (740) 593-2967

More information about the Ads-l mailing list