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  1. #1
    DreamingAnn is offline Newbie
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    "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    I noticed that when native english speakers pronounce "T" in "eaten", "latin", or "certain", it sounds quite different from what we have learnt from class, I mean, even when I look up them in the electronic dictionariy, it doesn't pronounce like that, but I know people do!

    I'm curious about how to pronounce those "T"s like that?

  2. #2
    thatone is offline Member
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    Start by making the t by touching the roof of your mouth with your tongue, but do not make the "popping" sound, i.e. do not take the tongue off the roof. Instead, from that position, immediately make the next consonant.

    For instance, in "eaten," first you say eat, but without making the t pop, then immediately make the n.

  3. #3
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamingAnn View Post
    I noticed that when native english speakers pronounce "T" in "eaten", "latin", or "certain", it sounds quite different from what we have learnt from class, I mean, even when I look up them in the electronic dictionariy, it doesn't pronounce like that, but I know people do!

    I'm curious about how to pronounce those "T"s like that?
    It's impossible to answer this meaningfully, as we don't know what you've been taught. I suspect that thatone's description refers to Br English - which will differ from what you've been taught if you've been taught some sorts of Am. English. Likewise (contrariwise to be precise) if you've been taught Br English you may be talking about that in comparison with the sort of /t/ you have heard elsewhere...

    b

  4. #4
    DreamingAnn is offline Newbie
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    To thatone:

    I think I understand what you mean, maybe I need more practice.


    To BobK:

    Well, I know there are great differences between BrE and AmE, but as I know, the pronunciations of "T" in "eaten" or "latin" in both of them are quite the same. It doesn't pronounce like /t/, but seems swallow the word into your throat. That's why I said it was different from what I have been taught.
    And recently, I discovered it worked even in German! They pronounce "T" in "Guten" the same way as "eaten" or "latin"!!
    Maybe there are some kinds of universal rules?

  5. #5
    thatone is offline Member
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    Forgot to say it's called glottal stop.

    This video might also help you. Otherwise there's plenty of results on Google. :)

  6. #6
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    Quote Originally Posted by DreamingAnn View Post

    ... as I know, the pronunciations of "T" in "eaten" or "latin" in both of them are quite the same.
    Well, what you 'know' is wrong, This difference has been discussed quite recently in this forum. Search for 'alveolar flap'.

    b

  7. #7
    DreamingAnn is offline Newbie
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Well, what you 'know' is wrong, This difference has been discussed quite recently in this forum. Search for 'alveolar flap'.

    b
    I know there must be a lot of limitations in my knowledge of this, but I still hold my ground.
    I was not talking about the "T" in words like "water", which is almost the most distinctive difference between these two accents. what I was discussing here actually is /tn/ in words. And I have proof.

    1 I heard Alan Rickman's recitation of some quotes of Marcel Proust, and he pronounce "certainly" that way.( the way I was arguing about)

    2 The editor in Merriam-Webster pronounce "latin" that way.

    3 And when I watched the musical RENT, there is a line from a song "just haven't eaten much today", and it prounce just the same!

    I know these can't represent all of the BrE and AmE, but just in these three contexts, they are really the same!

  8. #8
    BobK's Avatar
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    What you're hearing, then, is not a glottal stop, but nasal plosion. Look here Talk:Allophone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and scroll down to 'Examples of the different allophonic processes'. In short, the tongue makes a closure and then the air pressure is released through the nose. It happens both with N as you've noticed (in 'eaten' and 'latin') and with M in words like 'system'.

    b

    PS Sometimes it doesn't happen - in fact a German speaker with an otherwise perfect English accent can trip up on the word 'London', by exploding the last syllable nasally
    Last edited by BobK; 01-Dec-2010 at 23:54. Reason: PS Added

  9. #9
    DreamingAnn is offline Newbie
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    What you're hearing, then, is not a glottal stop, but nasal plosion. Look here Talk:Allophone - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and scroll down to 'Examples of the different allophonic processes'. In short, the tongue makes a closure and then the air pressure is released through the nose. It happens both with N as you've noticed (in 'eaten' and 'latin') and with M in words like 'system'.

    b

    PS Sometimes it doesn't happen - in fact a German speaker with an otherwise perfect English accent can trip up on the word 'London', by exploding the last syllable nasally

    Well, the truth is I'm completely confused now...

  10. #10
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: "T" in eaten, latin, and certain

    When it's a glottal stop, the /t/ would disappear; here, it's more the vowel that is going IMO.

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