>Learning>Sounds>t in the end of words
t in the end of words
Last Post 17 Feb 2011 12:57 PM by Mandy. 8 Replies.
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AntonUser is Offline
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28 Dec 2010 07:47 PM
    I asked my friend to point out sounds (as to separate this area from intonation and stress issues) that make my speech "unamerican". I'll not go through the topics that we've already discussed (or been discussing) on this forum and in the old pronuncian forum, but I will point out something that made be of interest to you.

    Certainly, it has to do something with the mysterious "t" sound :)

    When the issue is not about omitting t sound or making it into a quick d sound, I have always added a puff of air after it, whether in the beginning, in the middle or in the end of words.

    Apparently, I was wrong in this endeavor cause my friend told me that I should not be doing it when t occurs in the end of the words. And you can imagine, "t" occurs in the end of words more than often.

    So, instead of the t+puff of air... What should be there?
    If it's followed by another word that begins with a vowel, there's a high chance it'll be a quick d sound.
    But if not... then
    My friend described it as a glottal stop. Is it?
    Or is it like a "t" sound, but without a puff of air (or at least, with a puff of air a lot smaller than when t appears in the beginning of words)?
    I have a feeling that your tongue should touch the teeth so as to say the t sound but never actually say it. Does it make sense? :)
     

     
    AntonUser is Offline
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    01 Jan 2011 06:50 PM
    Since the question below has to do something with the "t" sound, I figured I should just put it here.
    I think I asked this question before but it didn't get a reply yet :)

    Is there any preference between the "quick d" sound and the glottal stop?
    Examples: Martin - glottal stop or quick d sound? Normal t sound would sound too formal, right?
    Last week, Can't eat - I heard some people talking about quick d sound there. I would rather go for a glottal stop. Is there a difference?

    Related. Is there any preference between "normal t" sound and glottal stop?
    Anton (my name).

    P. S. Haven't yet read about the use of articles. Bet there are more than 10 articles' mistakes in this post :)
    VadimUser is Offline
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    06 Jan 2011 09:51 AM
    Hi, Anton!

    I have always added a puff of air after it, whether in the beginning, in the middle or in the end of words.
    If you mean aspiration, the rules about when apply it are in this podcast:
    http://pronuncian.com/Podcast/Defau...pisode=114
    "Aspiration details of stop sounds"

    'T' is certainly not aspirated at the end of words.


    I have a feeling that your tongue should touch the teeth so as to say the t sound but never actually say it.
    I would also describe it this way.
    VadimUser is Offline
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    06 Jan 2011 09:54 AM
    The answer Mandy gave in another topic may also be useful for this discussion:

    "linking "can't you" with a glottal stop"
    http://www.englishassembly.com/Foru...fault.aspx
    MandyUser is Offline
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    21 Jan 2011 04:10 PM
    Hi guys,

    Is there any preference between the "quick d" sound and the glottal stop?
    Yes, there is a pretty big difference. The quick d is produced in your mouth, using the tip of your tongue. The glottal stop occurs deep in your throat. The name Martin is usually pronounced with a glottal stop (or a t sound, if speaking formally), but never a d sound.

    When Americans say the name Anton, we seem to give the -ton a secondary stress, and retain the t sound. I've never noticed it being pronounced any other way. The aspiration of the t in Anton is less than it would be in the name Tony, though, because the aspiration is greatest at the beginning of a word. If we compare it to the name Margaret, we can hear an unaspirated t at the end of a word. To unaspirate the t, the vocal tract goes into position of a t, but the air is released very softly. If we link the name Margaret to another word, however, a glottal stop is possible. Read on...
    So, instead of the t+puff of air... What should be there?
    If it's followed by another word that begins with a vowel, there's a high chance it'll be a quick d sound.
    But if not... then
    My friend described it as a glottal stop. Is it?
    Or is it like a "t" sound, but without a puff of air (or at least, with a puff of air a lot smaller than when t appears in the beginning of words)?
    I have a feeling that your tongue should touch the teeth so as to say the t sound but never actually say it. Does it make sense? :)

    Yes, if the final t sound is followed by a vowel, it may change to a quick d (depending on what is before it), such as the phrase:

    secret_admirer

    However, a final tis commonly changed to a glottal stop. This is true no matter what sound comes after it, and in fact, even the phrase secret_admirer could have a glottal stop instead of the d sound; it's up to the speaker. So all of the the following phrases can be pronounced with a glottal stop:

    start_laughing
    limit_my participation
    Planet_Hollywood
    reluctant_drivers


    Of course, there must be exceptions, and an exception here is the -ed ending. The -ed ending is more likely to be pronounced as an unaspirated t sound (of course, only when the -ed follows an unvoiced sound except for the t sound itself). This would be true for the following examples:

    laughed_about it
    liked_apples
    wished_for more money


    So don't use a glottal stop for the -ed ending!

    This is a good topic, and I think I'll add it to the podcast queue. So, please expand the conversation as you like so I can include as many details in the podcast as possible! Also, let me know if I missed answering any details of the above conversation.


    Thanks!
    Mandy


    AntonUser is Offline
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    29 Jan 2011 02:43 PM
    Vadim wrote:
    'T' is certainly not aspirated at the end of words.

    Mandy wrote:
    However, a final t is commonly changed to a glottal stop.


    Could you, please, take a look at http://www.pronuncian.com/MinimalPairs.aspx
    There, find other aw / short o pair. You should see words like cot/caught and rot/wrought.
    Isn't there an aspiration of the final t?
    Is it because you are trying to articulate each sound for the purpose of teaching?

    Sometimes one of my friends (Americans) also aspirates a final t, usually when it's in the middle of the sentence... She stops with the word "that", for example, and is thinking of how to end the sentence - and for some reason the aspirates the final t of this word "that". Is there a reason?
    For example: I thought that... I thought that... you might enjoy it.

    Thank you!
    MandyUser is Offline
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    15 Feb 2011 01:22 PM
    Hi Anton,

    It is difficult to exactly pinpoint when a sound is "aspirated" or not. To be fully unaspirated, the tongue would need to release from the stopped position extremely gently (or not release at all). So, unless, the t sound is fully replaced by the glottal stop, it is likely that you will hear some level of aspiration. It will still usually be much softer than the aspiration at the beginning of the word.

    For the Pronuncian audio, I struggle to decide how much aspiration to give on those single-word audio samples. I do try to aspirate the newer files less than I did when I first started recording them a few years ago. So I'm not surprised that you're hearing different levels of aspiration. Since many students struggle with including any consonant sound at all at the ends of words, I don't want to under-emphasize the aspiration too much, or beginner students think they don't need to include the sound.

    Secondly, your friend may be giving "that" extra aspiration as a pausing technique, probably without knowing that she is doing it. The aspirated t lets the listener know that she isn't finished speaking yet. Then, since she does seem to pause after it, the aspiration has nothing to link into, making it even more noticeable to you. I'm curious, have you noticed her aspirate a t sound as strongly when it is the final sound of the sentence?


    Cheers,
    Mandy
    AntonUser is Offline
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    17 Feb 2011 11:32 AM
    Mandy, you are EXACTLY right! My friend's t sound is either unaspirated or goes as the glottal stop in the end of the sentence. But it's clearly aspirated when it's in the middle of an unfinished sentence.
    Thank you for the explanation! Makes total sense!
    MandyUser is Offline
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    17 Feb 2011 12:57 PM
    Thanks to you for pointing out something I hadn't noticed before!

    ~Mandy
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