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    • Join Date: Feb 2010
    • Posts: 6

    Red face Trouble Pronouncing Sentences

    Hi guys, sorry my title is a bit general. I've been an English speaker for about 13 years now and find myself free of grammatical and spelling errors. However, I sometimes have a huge problem in pronouncing. I speak quite fast, and I do find myself making less errors if I speak slower, but everyone around me is speaking so fast it'd be weird if I spoke slower... Anyways, for example, if I were to say the sentence, "I am going to traffic school", I would say it as, "I am going to traffi school" without the "k" sound. Of course, unless I say it veryyy slowly... But if I were to say it fast, my mouth would get all weird.... Any way to improve that?

    Another problem is saying a sentence that has words ending in "sh" and immediately followed by an s word. Example: "I'm not a native English speaker." I would pronounce is like: "... English shpeaker."

    Do any of you native speakers have this problem too?

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
    • Posts: 19,434

    Re: Trouble Pronouncing Sentences

    I do not think it uncommon, particularly when speaking quickly.

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 576

    Re: Trouble Pronouncing Sentences

    Almost all native Scottish people I hear drop word final plosive sounds (p, b, t, d, k, g) - most notably 't'. It doesn't have anything to do with social class anymore. It probably did not very long ago, but now most people drop these sounds.

    I say 'drop', but if we were to be pedantic, they don't 'drop' the sounds completely. Rather they replace them with a glottal stop, or don't release the plosive. I presume this is what you do 'taffi cop' without a glottal stop would sound more like one work 'trafficop' - the glottal stop is perceived as a slight 'break' between the words.

    In other words, the glottal stop is an allophone for word final plosive sounds (mostly the voiceless ones: p, t, and k). What this means is that if you replace these sounds with the glottal stop (a perceived break, as you described) they would consider this the 'target' word.

    In other words(!), it's fine.

    Similarly with 'English speaker' sounding more like 'English peaker'.

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    Re: Trouble Pronouncing Sentences

    More than likely, unless your conversation mates are responding with non sequiturs, you are doing OK.

    Native speakers drop or gloss over the ending consonants of words all of the time.

    For example, here in western PA, the supermarket "Giant Eagle" is pronounced as if the "T" did not exist.

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