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    Default T sound in American English

    What are the rules for the T sound in American accent.
    where do we have a flapped T sound and where do we have a tapped T sound?


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    Wink Re: T sound in American English

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    What are the rules for the T sound in American accent.
    where do we have a flapped T sound and where do we have a tapped T sound?

    In American English, the flap t sound mostly occurs between two vowel sounds in the same word. Here are some examples: butter, a little better, letter, matter.


    [side note: If you are learning American English pronunciation in the US, I understand there are those who might tell you that the flap t sound is incorrect. However, it is not incorrect. Using only the tap t sound, or regular t sound, will not make your pronunciation sound US North American, and neither will it make your pronunciation sound British - unless, of course, you are learning British style pronunciation.]

    Last edited by PROESL; 31-Jul-2009 at 14:49. Reason: to add "in the same word"

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    Default Re: T sound in American English

    Thanks for your reply..

    In american accent it is at times the T sound is omitted for example in works like internet and interview. What is the rule behind this?

    Also I have come to learn that when the syllable in the middle which has a T sound is stressed then you get a true T ex Matilda
    And when the T sound comes in a syllable which is unstressed then you get a flapped T, which sounds more like a soft d sound, ex Natilie

    This is true for all words in american pronunciation?

    Thanks a bundle

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    Default Re: T sound in American English

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Thanks for your reply..

    In american accent it is at times the T sound is ommited for example in works like internet and interview. What is the rule behind this?

    Also I have come to learn that when the syllable in the middle which has a T sound is stressed then you get a true T ex Matilda
    And when the T sound comes in a syllable which is unstressed then you get a flapped T, which sounds more like a soft d sound, ex Natilie

    This is true for all words in american pronunciation?

    Thanks a bundle
    Sometimes the t sound is omitted, yes. However, I don't believe this would occur in the two words you posted as examples, Internet and interview.

    Omitting t sounds is referred to as "t deletion". (There is also "d deletion)

    There isn't a "rule" to using t deletion. It's better to point out when it occurs.

    I don't know - "becomes I don' know" - t is often deleted after an "n" sound in a contraction

    It's sunny out, isn't it? - becomes "it's sunny out, isn' it" - t is often deleted in tag questions that use contractions

    mountain - becomes moun'ain - t is deleted after "n" in certain words

    "wanna" and "gonna" - These are two very typical reductions used in everyday speech. There's a kind of t deletion here, as "want to" becomes "wanna". The "a" in "wanna" represents the schwa vowel sound in the word "to". The same thing can be said of "gonna", except for with "gonna", the nasal final "g" sound is also deleted.

    T and D deletion also occur in certain phrases throughout our speech when we speak quickly.

    Example: I need to wake up extra early tomorrow - becomes "I nee təwake up extra early tomorrow. - The d sound is often deleted when we speak fast.

    Other instances of t deletion occur in the words "left" and "just".

    It's on the left side - becomes "it's on the lef' side"

    We just got here - becomes "we jus' got here"

    It is important to note that t and d deletion mostly occur when we speak fast. T and D deletion could sound strange if one is speaking too slowly. Also, native speakers do not think about t and d deletion. If you happened to mention that they are leaving out a t and a d sound in certain words, they might deny it, depending on who you speak to.

    Deletion is an aspect of pronunciation that helps native speakers of English speak more quickly, along with other aspects of English pronunciation. I think some teachers might feel uneasy about teaching deletion because on the surface leaving out sounds would seem to be incorrect. However, in order to sound more native-like and speak at native speaker speed in everyday conversation, deletion is a necessary element in English speech.
    Last edited by PROESL; 01-Aug-2009 at 16:24. Reason: spelling errors typos

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    Default Re: T sound in American English

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Thanks for your reply..


    Also I have come to learn that when the syllable in the middle which has a T sound is stressed then you get a true T ex Matilda

    And when the T sound comes in a syllable which is unstressed then you get a flapped T, which sounds more like a soft d sound, ex Natilie

    This is true for all words in american pronunciation?

    Thanks a bundle
    Yes, both of these are true. It should be noted as well, as I said before, that the t sound in Natalie comes between two vowels.

    So it would sound strange to hear "Madilda" instead of "Matilda". However, it would not sound so strange, in American English, to hear something like "Nadalie" instead of "Natalie". In these cases, the t more or less does become a d sound, but I would call it, as you did, a "softer d" sound. It's not quite as strong as a regular d sound, in my opinion.

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    Default Re: T sound in American English

    Quote Originally Posted by PROESL View Post
    Yes, both of these are true. It should be noted as well, as I said before, that the t sound in Natalie comes between two vowels.

    So it would sound strange to hear "Madilda" instead of "Matilda". However, it would not sound so strange, in American English, to hear something like "Nadalie" instead of "Natalie". In these cases, the t more or less does become a d sound, but I would call it, as you did, a "softer d" sound. It's not quite as strong as a regular d sound, in my opinion.
    Thanks a bundle for the information.

    Though i would also like to know that do simillar deletions of T or D or any other consonant happen in English Accent/British English?

    I am aware that in British Pronunciation, the r sound in the middle of the work is clipped.

    However are their any other deletions?

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    Default Re: T sound in American English

    Quote Originally Posted by anupumh View Post
    Thanks a bundle for the information.

    Though i would also like to know that do simillar deletions of T or D or any other consonant happen in English Accent/British English?

    I am aware that in British Pronunciation, the r sound in the middle of the work is clipped.

    However are their any other deletions?
    The consonant deletions we've spoken of so far are all that come to mind for now.

    I wouldn't call the clipped r sound in British English a deletion, as this is considered standard in BrE and is not related to alterations in speech patterns that result simply from speaking fast in casual, everyday conversation.

    t, d, nasal final g in ing - If more deletions come to mind other than these, I'll post them.

    Last edited by PROESL; 01-Aug-2009 at 16:30. Reason: typo

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    Default Re: T sound in American English

    drop your T's at the end of the word, especially when speaking into a microphone or your will end up with a 'wet' t sound that will repel your listeners. The use of 'T' is a very subjective sound. I do agree in a flap 'T' sound, however, to the degree that one must "flap" to get the sound is quite subjective. You can even say that with more relaxed or 'street english there is less of a 'flap', but the more academic 't' sound is more of a drum beat symphonic sound. Accent reduction, American pronunciation, American accent training classes.

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