Is glottal stop widely spread in the UK and US?

Guest   Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:27 am GMT
Is glottal stop widely spread in the UK and US? Is it chic to speak with glottal stops?
Guest   Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:23 am GMT
In the UK, yes. In the US, no.
Travis   Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:11 am GMT
Actually, /t/ is normally pronounced in most North American English dialects as [ʔ] before an unstressed vowel phoneme followed by /n/, and furthermore it is extremely common in NAE dialects to pronounce /t/ that falls in a syllable coda which does not contain another obstruent as [ʔ]. However, aside from the first case, intervocalic /t/ is generally not realized as [ʔ] in NAE.
Damian in Edinburgh   Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:43 am GMT
Glottal stoppery has now become quite widespread in the UK - so the answer to your question is - yes. It varies in intensity, depending on location. Very strong in the South East and London, especially, less so elsewhere, but developing. This part of Scotland is not immune and that's for sure. It's mostly a generational thing. You are most unlikely to hear a group of elderly ladies lunching in Leatherhead all chattering away together in glottal stopped Estuary, but come back in, say, 2030, and their successors may be doing just that.
Skippy   Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:44 pm GMT
I pronounce "eating" with a glottal stop. /i?n/
Johnny   Sun Jun 15, 2008 4:47 pm GMT
<<I pronounce "eating" with a glottal stop. /i?n/>>

I heard it several times that way, and I think it's common in the south, isn't it? Otherwise it should have a tapped t, eading.
Skippy   Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:39 pm GMT
Yes it's pretty common throughout the South. Although my California friends constantly asked me my freshman year why I 'didn't have an accent' they would harass me for certain pronunciations that would come out every so often, "ea'in'" for example, also (naturally) use of "ya'll," but a big one was when I told them there was a "wreck" on the freeway (instead of "accident" which we also use in the South) because they don't use "wreck" and my pronunciation of the initial "r" is more retroflex than theirs (/r\'/ rather than their /r\/) and slightly labialized.
Jasper   Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:04 pm GMT
"Yes it's pretty common throughout the South."

I second that notion, Skippy.

The use of the glottal stop seems particularly pervasive in Appalachia; undoubtedly, "foreigners" would find them difficult to understand at times.

Just for fun--can you translate this? Aaah[glottal stop]- [glottal stop]air.
Skippy   Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:20 pm GMT
lol not at all.
Jasper   Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:26 pm GMT
Skippy, that's the lower class Appalachian version of "that there". aaah-air, said with glottal stops. Can you hear it in your mind?
Johnny   Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:28 pm GMT
I see. But other than that, it's not common between vowels in the US. It is in the UK. But does anybody know about Australia?

<<Just for fun--can you translate this? Aaah[glottal stop]- [glottal stop]air.>>
A burp? lol
Skippy   Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:01 pm GMT
Got it... My exposure to Appalachian is limited, but I can hear it.
Travis   Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:32 am GMT
>><<Is glottal stop widely spread in the UK and US?>>

Yes. It's used in more environments by UK speakers though: for example, I don't think any American would say 'city' with a glottal stop, whereas many Brits would.<<

Actually, here, and seemingly in many more progressive northern US English dialects, the tendency is to simply elide /t/ in words like "city" - which here is extremely commonly pronounced as [ˈsɪi̯] (yes, that's one syllable) except when stressed or in more conservative idiolects, where it is [ˈsɪɾ̥iː]. However, though, the /t/ can still be "heard" here, as it still makes the preceding vowel short (and thus the resulting diphthong is long rather than overlong) even when elided.

>><<I pronounce "eating" with a glottal stop. /i?n/>>

I do the same thing, but this only when I don't produce a velar nasal. The ending '-ing' has two variants in my dialect (/IN/ and /In/), and the former conditions a flapped /t/, eg. 'eating' [i:4IiN], whereas the latter conditions a glottal stop: 'eating' [i:?I~].<<

Here, though, that seems that the past participle ending "-en" induces the glottal-stopping of root-final /t/ (such as in "eaten" [ˈiʔn̩ː]), but the present participle ending "-ing"/"-in" *never* induces the glottal-stopping of root-final /t/ but rather instead generally causes it to be elided (such as in "eating" [ˈĩɨ̃ːŋ], [ˈĩɨ̃ːn], or [ˈĩɨ̃ː]) This is due to the general rule in more progressive idiolects in the dialect here that practically all non-unstressed morpheme and word-final /t/, /d/, /n/, /nt/, and /nd/ are elided when followed by a vowel or semivowel. Hence it seems that past participles with glottal-stopping of root-final /t/ really end in not /tən/ or /tɪn/ but just /tn/ (as implied by any lack of alternation between [n̩ː], [ɨ̃ːn], and [ɨ̃ː] unlike with other cases of reduced vowels followed by /n/), and that the use of the present participle ending "-in" actually involves /ɪn/, which instead triggers the elision of the preceding /t/.
Travis   Mon Jun 16, 2008 2:50 pm GMT
"non-unstressed morpheme and word-final" above should be just "morpheme and word-final".
Damian in Edinburgh   Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:06 pm GMT
There is an English Premier League football team in North London called Tottenham Hotspur...Tottenham being a district of North London.

Practically none of its fans in the area pronounces its name as it's spelt, and neither do most people in London or the South East of England - or I would say anywhere else in the UK either. The only "t" which is clearly pronounced as such is the initial one. The double "t's" in Tottenham simply don't exist, and in Hotspur the "t" is only just very faintly hinted at. As it happanes, the "H" in Hotspur also vanishes into the ether, so in standard UK Glottal Stoppery, Tottenham Hotspur roughly comes out like "To'(h)-n-um 'O-(t)-s-puh".

There is a lovely suburb - also in North London - called Harrow-on-the-Hill - that's where you will find Harrow Public School, where Winston Churchill was educated. (In the UK a public school is actually a private school, privately funded by expensive fees). Harrow-on-the Hill is pronounced as such by the posher residents, especially the older ones. To most other people it's "'Arrow-on-thee-'I'w(l)" - with the "l" only just faintly voiced, or, if your'e seriously non-posh, mega Estuary: "'Arr-aaow-on-v'Ill".

Don't you just love Londonspeak? ;-)