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Old 11-23-2011, 08:56 AM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,968,192 times
Reputation: 4061

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wscottling View Post
I stand corrected. That'll teach me to write in a hurry. Those linguistic classes were a while ago, but that's still no excuse.
No worries; the fact that you know anything about the articulation of speech sounds puts you way ahead of most people.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:16 AM
 
3,644 posts, read 8,996,337 times
Reputation: 1798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
She pronounced the "T". You have mistaken syllable inflections for the lack of a T sound.

The lady did pronounce it like most white southerners.

DENT-IST

not

DEN-TIST (Since the T is at the beginning of a second syllable the T is more noticable. However, it doesn't mean in the first pronunciation that the T was not said).

In the second video, the man says DENT-AL spa and full service DENT-I-STRY. Again, it seems less noticeable because it's on the end of the first syllable, not the beginning of the last syllable.
ehh, I dont hear the T being pronounced. And even if you claim that it's at the end of the first syllable, I count that as not pronouncing the word the traditional way, and that's basically what the OP is asking. Let's not get too technical. I think most people pronounce those words like the people in the video.
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Old 11-23-2011, 11:13 AM
 
2,402 posts, read 3,577,740 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smtchll View Post
ehh, I dont hear the T being pronounced. And even if you claim that it's at the end of the first syllable, I count that as not pronouncing the word the traditional way, and that's basically what the OP is asking. Let's not get too technical. I think most people pronounce those words like the people in the video.
Listen carefully. Slow it down if you have to. The "t" is clearly pronounced. Both ways of pronunciation are correct. That said, those that generally pronounce water as wa-Ter instead of wat-er, or den-Tist, instead of dent-ist, are generally those individuals who try to be conscious about the way they speak.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:06 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,968,192 times
Reputation: 4061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
She pronounced the "T". You have mistaken syllable inflections for the lack of a T sound.
This is incorrect. There is no phonetic [t] sound produced in the given example. It has nothing to do with syllabification (nor inflection, which is an entirely unrelated phenomenon).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
The lady did pronounce it like most white southerners.

DENT-IST

not

DEN-TIST (Since the T is at the beginning of a second syllable the T is more noticable. However, it doesn't mean in the first pronunciation that the T was not said).
I can see where you're getting this idea from. When most Americans pronounce the word dent, the /t/, being in word-final position, is not realized as a true phonetic [t], but rather as a glottal stop.

However, if this were merely a case of resyllabification (/den.tist/ becoming /dent.ist/), then you would hear the glottal stop in the middle of the word. This does not happen in American English; the youtube examples show cases where /t/ is deleted altogether. The phonetic output is effectively [den.ist].

In some primarily working class dialects of British English, you *will* hear a glottal stop in the middle of the word, perhaps indicating resyllabification. Take this interview with Ricky Gervais:


Star Movies VIP Access: Ghost Town- Ricky Gervais - YouTube

The interviewer produces a phonetic [t] in both cases of the word "dentist" at the beginning of the interview. At 0:18, Gervais pronounces the word with a glottal stop rather than a phonetic [t]. When he says the word again at 0:27, he produces the [t]. The third time, at 0:39, he uses the glottal stop again.

As you can tell, Gervais' pronunciations with the glottal stop are very different from the examples you heard in the American videos, in which the [t] is often deleted. But it's important to note that on both sides of the pond, there is variability, even in the speech of a particular individual. Nobody *always* deletes the [t] or replaces it with a glottal stop.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:21 PM
 
Location: New Hampshire
2,257 posts, read 6,968,192 times
Reputation: 4061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
Listen carefully. Slow it down if you have to. The "t" is clearly pronounced.
If you really wanted, I could produce a spectrogram of the particular instance of "dentist" in question to show that there is no phonetic [t]; I can assure you that the airflow is not being obstructed in the vocal tract as it would be if the [t] were truly pronounced. I don't blame you for "hearing" it, though, because the /t/ is deeply embedded in our underlying perception so it's difficult not to perceive it as being there. It's a bizarre psycholinguistic phenomenon.

For example, in the word kitten, there is absolutely no [t] for any native American English speaker. What we perceive as /t/ is really a glottal stop. It's a bit jarring to realize this, but it's true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
Both ways of pronunciation are correct.
Absolutely. Anyone who claims that there is only one "correct" way to pronounce a word either does not understand how language works, or does not respect the dialects of others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
That said, those that generally pronounce water as wa-Ter instead of wat-er, or den-Tist, instead of dent-ist, are generally those individuals who try to be conscious about the way they speak.
Firstly, again with the resyllabification thing; the word water is different from dentist in that the [t] is not deleted, but rather replaced by an alveolar "flap". It has nothing to do with syllables; this is a systematic phenomenon in North American English (and, to a lesser extent, Australian & New Zealand English) when /t/ occurs between vowels. If an American actually pronounces a phonetic [t] in the word water, then yes, they are probably trying to speak very carefully (it would sound unnatural in casual speech).

But the t-deletion of dentist is a different phenomenon. Yes, almost anyone who is saying the word carefully will pronounce the phonetic [t]. However, unlike water, the [t] is produced much more consistently by a large number of American English speakers in casual speech (it's between /n/ and a vowel, not two vowels). It's truly a case of variation and hopefully we can figure out what factors influence it; whether it be geography or social class or gender or whether it's completely idiosyncratic. I'm hoping to find out.
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Old 11-23-2011, 10:53 PM
Status: "Summer!" (set 15 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
86,981 posts, read 102,527,356 times
Reputation: 33045
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natural510 View Post
Southern Ohio/Kentucky/West Virginia
Plus, in that grouping, SW Pennsylvania.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:29 AM
 
Location: Tennessee
34,667 posts, read 33,667,394 times
Reputation: 51854
Don't know a single person that does this. We drop our ending g's on words endin' in ing.
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Old 11-24-2011, 06:29 AM
 
2,402 posts, read 3,577,740 times
Reputation: 1266
Quote:
Originally Posted by Verseau View Post
This is incorrect. There is no phonetic [t] sound produced in the given example. It has nothing to do with syllabification (nor inflection, which is an entirely unrelated phenomenon).



I can see where you're getting this idea from. When most Americans pronounce the word dent, the /t/, being in word-final position, is not realized as a true phonetic [t], but rather as a glottal stop.

However, if this were merely a case of resyllabification (/den.tist/ becoming /dent.ist/), then you would hear the glottal stop in the middle of the word. This does not happen in American English; the youtube examples show cases where /t/ is deleted altogether. The phonetic output is effectively [den.ist].

In some primarily working class dialects of British English, you *will* hear a glottal stop in the middle of the word, perhaps indicating resyllabification. Take this interview with Ricky Gervais:


Star Movies VIP Access: Ghost Town- Ricky Gervais - YouTube

The interviewer produces a phonetic [t] in both cases of the word "dentist" at the beginning of the interview. At 0:18, Gervais pronounces the word with a glottal stop rather than a phonetic [t]. When he says the word again at 0:27, he produces the [t]. The third time, at 0:39, he uses the glottal stop again.

As you can tell, Gervais' pronunciations with the glottal stop are very different from the examples you heard in the American videos, in which the [t] is often deleted. But it's important to note that on both sides of the pond, there is variability, even in the speech of a particular individual. Nobody *always* deletes the [t] or replaces it with a glottal stop.
The t is pronounced. If the "t" is not pronounced, in your opinion, neither can the "e" or "n" be pronounced either. I can clearly hear the "t". If you can't, slow it down. It's clearly recognizable. The "t" doesn't have to be overly emphasized to be heard. Most letters in a word aren't overly emphasized.
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:41 PM
 
3,644 posts, read 8,996,337 times
Reputation: 1798
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stars&StripesForever View Post
Listen carefully. Slow it down if you have to. The "t" is clearly pronounced. Both ways of pronunciation are correct. That said, those that generally pronounce water as wa-Ter instead of wat-er, or den-Tist, instead of dent-ist, are generally those individuals who try to be conscious about the way they speak.
I dont hear a T, and it doesn't matter because what the OP is talking about is this ^ pronunciation that you're discussing. Regardless if you think they say the T or not. It's the non-traditional way of saying the words, but actually the most common way in the US. If you think that the videos I posted are somehow different from what the OP is talking about, then can you find videos where people are truly pronouncing these words without the T (by your definition)?
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:11 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,622,945 times
Reputation: 12537
Quote:
Originally Posted by f1000 View Post
So Americans are the most likely of all English-speaking groups to drop the "T"s in many words but was wondering which regions in particular are people most likely to pronounce the following the way it sounds in the brackets:

denTist (sounds like den-nist)
renTal (sounds like ren-nal)
prinTer (sounds like prin-ner)
winTer (sounds like win-ner)
cenTer (sounds like cen-ner)

I find that alot of Southerners actually pronounce the Ts in many words when one may think it will be a "Drop-T" pronunciation
Did you notice how every one of those words has an N before the T? Did you also notice how the stress is on the first syllable in each of these words, and the last syllable seems as though it's almost been swallowed? The reason the T "disappears" is because 1) the stress pattern puts the focus on the first syllable, including the N sound, and 2) the N and T are pronounced in the same part of the mouth (the alveolar ridge, which is the hard part of the roof of your mouth behind the upper teeth).

The changes between N and T are relatively minor. To get technical, the N is pronounced with a lowered velum, making it a nasal, where the sound escapes through the nose. For the T, the velum is raised to make a sound where the air escapes only through the mouth. The N is also voiced, meaning that the vocal cords vibrate and then the T is not voiced, meaning the vocal cords do not vibrate. You can feel this by trying to pronounce N and then T while pinching your nose and then trying to pronounce N and T with your hand on your throat.

In linguistics (the study of languages), there is a rule (which in this case means more of an observation of what people actually do) that says that when people speak quickly, often non-essential sounds will get dropped or will be replaced by sounds that are easier to articulate. Sounds in unstressed syllables tend to get dropped more, especially next to stressed syllables. In all the words you listed, the stressed syllable contains the N and the unstressed syllable contains the T. So when people speak quickly and casually, the T after the N sound often gets dropped.

In the North, you find this happening with words like international and interesting which starts to sound more like "innernational" and "inneresting" or even "inchresting". In the case of interesting, something akin to "innernational" but nevertheless different is happening. The CH comes from the mouth anticipating the R sound while pronouncing the T. Since the R sound in English is farther back in the mouth, the T sound ends up morphing into a CH sound.

This trend isn't particular to the South, or to the English language, or even to spoken languages. It happens in all dialects and all languages, even signed languages. Obviously in the case of signed languages, instead of talking about sounds, we're talking about hand shapes. Hand shapes that are hard to articulate are often made in a way that's easier to articulate in rapid signing, and hand shapes that are the most vulnerable to being morphed often are morphed to the hand shape before or after. For example if you sign WITH ME, the ME sign will morph to the hand shape used to sign WITH because the sign ME is highly adaptable.

In any case, it's very cool you noticed this. If you're interested in linguistics, especially phonology (which is the field that addresses observations like the one made in this thread), let me know and I can give you some links. I'm studying linguistics at the graduate level, so needless to say, I'm very interested in this kind of stuff.
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