In word-final, prevocalic position (e.g., it is) there are various possible phonetic realizations of /t/ in American English (e.g., [t], [ʕ], [ʔ]). The present study examines the linguistic and social factors associated with the use of the glottal stop in American English in 1,101 instances of word-final, prevocalic /t/ from the Santa Barbara Corpus. The glottal stop occurred in 24% of the cases. Logistic regression analysis was used to identify factors that favor glottaling of /t/. our findings concur with previous research in that age and region were significant: Westerners in their teens and 20s glottalized more than non-Westerners in the same age groups; speakers who are 30 and older, both Westerners and non-Westerners, glottalize to a much smaller degree. We also found that glottaling is favored by a following stressed syllable; however, gender and following vowel quality were not influencing variables, which contradicts previous experimental findings. If prevocalic glottaling is uncommon word-internally in American English, why is it apparently spreading word-finally? We provide evidence that word-final /t/s are more often followed by word-initial consonants than vowels, which places them in a glottalizing context. Instances with a glottal realization are stored in the mental lexicon and are available as possible pronunciation choices even in prevocalic position.
Skip Nav Destination
Research Article| August 01 2010
American English Has Goʔ A Loʔ Of Glottal Stops: Social Diffusion and Linguistic Motivation
American Speech (2010) 85 (3): 338–351.
David Eddington, Caitlin Channer; American English Has Goʔ A Loʔ Of Glottal Stops: Social Diffusion and Linguistic Motivation. American Speech 1 August 2010; 85 (3): 338–351. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00031283-2010-019
Download citation file: