I try my best to pronounce my "t"s properly, (meaning as voicless consonants), but my freinds sometimes point it out as odd. I've been told on MANY occasions that I don't sound American, but I don't think there's anything wrong with beign precise.
I never say the T in words like international, water, interview.I'm American not British I'm going to say it the way Americans say it.
I'm not into speaking proper.
I just came back and looked this over, please forgive my numerous spelling errors!
Marie said: "I'm going to say it the way Americans say it.
I'm not into speaking proper."
Well I beg to differ, Marie. As a fellow American, I too pronounce some words like "better", "butter," and "water" with a hard 'T' (this sound is not identical to the 'D' sound, but similar). However, this is speaking properly in our accent, so I find your comments a bit puzzling.
Oh but ... It's still difficult :) lol
Apparenently this d sound is shorter than a regular D sound. So short that it is hard to say if it is a reaally a D sound or just an off beat T.
I only hear it in water, bitter, butter aand better. Pretty small sample
A good example is in "latter"/"ladder.
There is a slight difference that differentiates it from the sound of the two "D's."
The difference is in the length of the [@]. In "ladder" it is longer.
According to Ann Baker and Sharon Goldstein in the book PRONUNCIATION PAIRS (Cambridge University Press) "T" is pronounced as /ts/ in words like TIE, TOP, CAFETERIA, TELL, i.e., when it's in the beggining of a word. You pronounce "T" in a very quiet way when it's at the end of a word as HAT, RACKET or in compound words when the first word ends with a "T" as in FOOTBALL. Finally "T" sounds like a QUICK "d" in words like SWEATER, LETTER, ELEVATOR, TYPEWRITER. Another interesting pronunciation book if you're interested in British English is HOW NOW, BROWN COW (Mimi Ponsonby - Prentice Hall Macmillan). Greetings from Brazil!
Also, americans (or at least the people around me in New York) will pronounce a "t" as "tch" or a thick "ch" when the "t" is in front of a "y", such as in the sentence "I want you to go to the store".
Of course, this is not anywhere near proper pronunciation, but it works fine in normal speech.
sorry about the poor grammar at the end of my last post.
"Football" in an interesting example. Unless I was really thinking about pronouncing it clearly, I'd probably turn that "t" in to a glottall stop. Just a thought...