Dropping final consonants

Herbert Stahlke hstahlke at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Tue Apr 1 02:05:10 UTC 2003

I'm not aware of the prosodic conditioning, and I'd like to hear more about
that.  However, here in Muncie, IN, I here a lot of glottal stop for final
/t/, with no /t/.  Given the normal glottalization of final fortis
consonants, this seems pretty clearly to be final /t/ deletion.  Since final
/t/ deletes between consonants, deletion after a glottal stop may be a
further generalization of the process?  I haven't heard final /p/ or /k/
deletion after a glottal stop around here.


-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU]On Behalf
Of Alice Faber
Sent: Monday, March 31, 2003 3:33 PM
Subject: Re: Dropping final consonants

AAllan at AOL.COM said:
>A non-linguist colleague of mine declares that he hears students dropping
>final consonants. He puts it this way:
><<Perhaps it is only my imagination, but are younger people leaving final
>consonants off words?  Many students, it seems to me, are saying "buh" for
>"but," "wha'" for "what," "tha" for "that," etc.  Have you noticed anything
>like this?  If it is occurring, what could be the cause?>>
>and then he followed up with
><<Ten minutes ago, toward the end of a twenty minute
>conversation with a fine student, I said to myself, "I wish Allan were here
>listen to this."  She is highly intelligent, focused, etc., but she
>dropped the last consonant from words.  About two minutes ago another
>a fellow, dropped by, and he did the same in about five instances.  (Maybe
>it's my hearing!)>>
>Anything new to this? Is it just a matter of hearing what has been
>all along?

I'd like to see more examples. These examples all end with /t/, and
this might be a matter of "glottal replacement". Or the stops might
just be unreleased. I hear both variants frequently, at all levels of
formality. It's extremely variable by speaker, and, for some
speakers, there appears to be prosodic conditioning as well.
Alice Faber
faber at haskins.yale.edu
Haskins Laboratories                                  tel: (203) 865-6163
New Haven, CT 06511 USA                                     fax (203)

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