about AE pronunciation

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amigo

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Sep 26, 2004
Hi teachers,

Here is my question:
I'm listening to Ann Cook's "AAT" in my spare time,she mentions that in standard AE,they omit the "t" sound in words,like sentence and eaten. It's also very common,in my ears, to hear American pronunce platinum and maintenance without "t" sound. They sound pretty familiar to me. I'm trying to train my ears better to catch how the American pronunce words since I have a big problem in pronunication and need to put a lot of efforts on it,I must admit. I want to know if that way of pronuncing words are
common American?
Standard American English?
low class English?
or absolutely correct?

Could u pls explain to me a little about this? and what in Canadian way?R they speak the same way as the American in US?

Thank you for your help. :oops:

Amigo
 

Steven D

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2004
Member Type
English Teacher
amigo said:
Hi teachers,

Here is my question:
I'm listening to Ann Cook's "AAT" in my spare time,she mentions that in standard AE,they omit the "t" sound in words,like sentence and eaten. It's also very common,in my ears, to hear American pronunce platinum and maintenance without "t" sound. They sound pretty familiar to me. I'm trying to train my ears better to catch how the American pronunce words since I have a big problem in pronunication and need to put a lot of efforts on it,I must admit. I want to know if that way of pronuncing words are
common American?
Standard American English?
low class English?
or absolutely correct?

Could u pls explain to me a little about this? and what in Canadian way?R they speak the same way as the American in US?

Thank you for your help. :oops:

Amigo
The "t" sound is omitted in differerent words from time to time. When people speak quickly, this tends to happen. It's not a sign of low class English, but it's not absolutely correct. It is representative of how the language sounds. We can call this: informal, typical, ordinary, every day conversation.

It depends on the person and the situation that one is speaking in. Different people will make it a point to use more careful pronunciation in certain situations. Some people might quite naturally switch back and forth from a more relaxed form of American English pronunciation to a more careful and standard form of American English pronunciation. It all depends on what the circumstance calls for. Then again, some people maintain the same manner of speaking for any situation.

A student once pointed out to me that I left out the "t" in mountain. And I thought to myself, "mm..... So I did. I left out the "t". I once caught myself leaving out the "t" when I said "on the left side". This happens when people speak quickly.

As far the words that you mentioned from the Ann Cook book go, I don't agree with that. I say the "t" in those words. I don't imagine that even when speaking quickly, I would leave out the "t" sound in those words.

If you want a good perspective on American English pronunciation, I suggest the following:

Listen to news announcers for good, careful, and standard pronunciation.

Watch movies and listen to talk shows in order hear a more relaxed, but usual and normal, style of American English pronunciation.

Different people in different situations speak differently. There is what I would call a "middle of the road area". However, it's very difficult to be precise about this. I suggest being very observant. Listen and imitate.
 
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Casiopea

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Sep 21, 2003
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Other
amigo said:
...in standard AE, they omit the "t" sound in words, like sentence and eaten. It's also very common, in my ears, to hear American pronunce platinum and maintenance without "t" sound.
It's referred to as reduced speech or relaxed speech, and it stems from ease of articulation. The [t] sound hasn't really been omitted; it has undergone a process of sound change. There are a number of processes: assimilation (t => n), reduction (t => '), elision (a vowel is omitted), and more, and those processes are predictable--they have rules. They are also present in all languages in the world, even yours.:cool: The processes are universal.

1. sentence => sennence ([t] assimilate to [n])
2. eaten => ea'en ([t] reduces to a glottal stop)
3. platinum => pla'num (Same as above; is elided)
4. maintenance => mai'nance ('n' is dropped, 'ten' is dropped)

Here's an excellent book on relaxed/reduced pronunciation for students:
Whaddaya say? Guided practice in relaxed spoken English. Weinstein, N. 1982. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Regents/Prentice Hall.

Whaddaya = What did you

Here's a page that lists a great deal of relaxed/reduced speech forms:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8995/relaxed.html

amigo said:
I'm trying to train my ears better to catch how the American pronunce words since I have a big problem in pronunication and need to put a lot of efforts on it, I must admit. I want to know if that way of pronouncing words are common American? Standard American English? low class English? or absolutely correct?
All of the above, and Canadian English is in general pretty much the same in terms of reduced speech. Again, the processes are universal, but that's not to say every dialect shares one and the same process. Check out the following sources:

Building Fluency: A Pronunciation Course for Non-native speakers
http://exchanges.state.gov/forum/vols/vol35/no1/p26.htm
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8995/relaxed.html

A List of Pronunciation (Audio) Resources on the Net
http://home.apu.edu/~rrobison/Pronunciation%20Web%20Sites.htm
 

Steven D

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2004
Member Type
English Teacher
Here's a page that lists a great deal of relaxed/reduced speech forms:
http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/8995/relaxed.html

I've seen that site before. I don't think a number of those examples are really good representations of how the sounds are really made.

Here's a common one, for example. This is not what we really say at all.

DUNNO= DON'T KNOW
Does she go with you? I dunno.

It comes out sounding more like "Don' no" - Don't know.

How does anyone hear any type of "u" sound there? I don't.

Oh well...........
 

Steven D

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2004
Member Type
English Teacher
Casiopea said:
:lol: :lol: Beats me, y'no.
I know.

By the way, I think I do hear where the "t" is left out in "eaten". It's hard to tell. One shouldn't be so observant of one's own speech. :-| :shock:

Good post, by the way. I'm talkin' 'bout the big one in this thread.

It's a good one. :-D :up:
 
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