Glottal Stop in English

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Glottal Stop in English

Postby Yaziq » Mon 04 Jun 2012 10:46 pm

A glottal stop could be defined as a catch in the back of the throat using the glottis. Henceforth I represent the glottal stop as ('). I was told by some linguist that the word "apple" actually begins with a consonant which is the glottal stop. Maybe so. In the Cockney variety of British English the word "bottle" is pronounced "bo'l". The "t" is glottalized. Although Cockney may declining, I would guess that it can still be heard in some parts of London. I have noticed that some speakers of American English pronounce the word "beyond" as "be'ond", glottalizing the "y". I wonder why they do that. What could be wrong with pronouncing the "y"? Maybe you have never noticed this glottalized pronunciation of that word, but keep listening. Or maybe you pronounce the word that way.
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Re: Glottal Stop in English

Postby Dan_ad_nauseam » Tue 05 Jun 2012 12:10 am

Yaziq wrote:. . . . I was told by some linguist that the word "apple" actually begins with a consonant which is the glottal stop. Maybe so. . . .


That would be John McWhorter, most likely. He didn't quite say that apple began with a glottal stop, but that a glottal stop epenthesized when a speaker said "a apple."
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Re: Glottal Stop in English

Postby linguoboy » Tue 05 Jun 2012 3:35 am

Yaziq wrote:Although Cockney may declining, I would guess that it can still be heard in some parts of London. I have noticed that some speakers of American English pronounce the word "beyond" as "be'ond", glottalizing the "y". I wonder why they do that. What could be wrong with pronouncing the "y"? Maybe you have never noticed this glottalized pronunciation of that word, but keep listening. Or maybe you pronounce the word that way.

Cockney may be on the decline, but Estuary incorporates many of its features--including glottalisation of non-initial /t/--and it's very much on the march. You'll hear more glottal stops on the British airways these days than ever before.
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Re: Glottal Stop in English

Postby Sprochamaedli » Fri 22 Jun 2012 7:12 pm

I'm American (fairly neutral Californian accent) and I usually pronounce a glottal stop in words like "button", "mitten", "smitten", etc. I definitely pronounced the "y" in "beyond" though. ;) Don't think I've ever heard it pronounced as a glottal stop, but I'm sure it is somewhere. It's interesting that it would be pronounced that way. You'd think palatalization would be an easier transition than a glottal stop.
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Re: Glottal Stop in English

Postby Tikolm » Mon 25 Jun 2012 10:16 pm

Not an expert here, and probably this is irrelevant, but glottal stops in English seem to occur for two reasons. One, epenthesis, like somebody said: we feel a need to separate vowels and sometimes we take it farther than the intended purpose. Two, /t/ is often unreleased in syllable-final position, and unreleased /t/ can in turn be realized as a glottal stop in some (or maybe all) dialects of English.
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Re: Glottal Stop in English

Postby AnitaRai » Mon 10 Dec 2012 10:51 pm

The Barbadian accent (from the Caribbean) has a lot of glottal stops.

Here is an example from You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDtt7KWwlqw

Barbados probably has the largest number of local white Caribbean people, and maybe their ancestors were Cockney speakers or something?

Here are some white Bajans (as Barbadians are called): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5dRT9yU8mc
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Re: Glottal Stop in English

Postby Tikolm » Mon 17 Dec 2012 11:27 pm

Tikolm wrote:or maybe all
Scratch that. Canadians apparently release every single final /t/, so definitely not all.
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Re: Glottal Stop in English

Postby choc_pud » Thu 27 Dec 2012 4:10 pm

I personally use glo'al stops all the time for /t/ in non-final positions. But less so than a true Cockney.

(Incidentally, the name "Cockney" comes from the words "cockerel" and "eyen" (meaning 'egg'), and as many of the other dialects and accents around Britain found the Cockney accent a mite strange, it was called "Cockney", or a contraction of "Cockerel's eyen". Of course, an egg from a cockerel is not a natural thing!! Hence the name.)

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Re: Glottal Stop in English

Postby Binyamin » Mon 13 May 2013 12:25 pm

Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between a "true" glottal stop, and one that is simply an accent or natural pause between sounds. I've always thought of the glottal stop as a much more "forced" or deliberate sound. For instance, I've heard some people put a pause in words like "trouble" -- but its just their manner of speaking, not an element of the word.
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