|Title:||The final future of t|
|Institution:||United Arab Emirates University|
|Abstract:||Will the final t become totally bottled up? It was about 15 years ago, I suppose, that I was told by an 18-year-old student that you shouldn't pronounce the final t in words like went. She meant in no circumstances. So struck was I by this that I reflected on my own practice, as a British English speaker, with such words. I decided that, in general, I released a final t before a following vowel, before a pause and before ‘soft’ consonants like h or w, but might sometimes keep it in before a ‘strong’ consonant, like m or b. So, I would say ‘I went away’, ‘What?’ and ‘That hospital’, but, pre-consonantal, either ‘He sent bottled water’ or ‘He sen’ bottled water’. You would, of course, refer also to words spelled with te at the end, like mate, as being pronounced with a final t.
Since that time, and particularly in recent years, I have noticed an increase in the non-released version of final t, pre-vowel or pre-pause, from BrE speakers in contexts where before I would not have expected it, as, for example, from BBC newsreaders.
Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page