Intervocalic Voicing in English

Herb Stahlke hstahlke at
Wed Apr 18 13:36:54 UTC 2001

The different vowel qualities in <writer>/<rider> are not found in all of US
English.  They're particularly characteristic of, but not exclusive to North
Central and Inland Northern US English, and, of course, Canadian English
especially in Ontario and the prairie provinces.  In some variants of these
dialects, like mine from pre-NCVS rural SE Michigan, the contrast is phonemic
in open syllables (high/Hi), before /nd/ (round (adj)/round (prep)) or (kind
(N)/kind(adj)), and before /d/ (hide (v)/hide (n)).  In each of those pairs,
the raised-onset diphthong is given first.  I suspect these examples answer the
question of whether spelling is involved.


>>> rmccalli at sunmuw1.MUW.Edu 04/13/01 04:03AM >>>
	Intervocalic <-t-, -tt-> in US English is not just voiced,
something else is happening as well that gives it a tap /-r-/ quality
	I can't quite put my finger on it, but it seems that there may be
some sort of hiatus before the second syllable of <writer>, <rider> in
English pronunciation that's not present in the US pronunciation
	Regarding the different vowel quality of <writer> and <rider> cited
in descriptions of US pronunication. Is this possibly a conscious reaction
to the spelling? In rapid speech the difference is either minimized or
	Other minimal pairs such as <bitter> and <bidder> are pronounced
exactly alike in US English--at least to my ear.
	Does this phenomenon exist anywhere in English outside of North
America and Northern Ireland?

[ moderator snip ]

Rick Mc Callister
Mississippi University for Women
Columbus MS 39701

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