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American pronunciation: 't' in interview, international, etc.

Discussion in 'English Only' started by shannenms, Dec 13, 2007.

  1. shannenms

    shannenms Senior Member

    Persian
    I think I have found a rule to American Pronounciation:
    When a word contains a t, preceeded by a silent n, this t is left out in pronunciation, e.g: Interview-->inerview, International-->inernational.
    Am I right?
    Regards
     
  2. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod

    If you're talking about the way our president speaks, then yes. :) Many of us do not speak that way. We do tend to soften our T's compared to many British English accents, but to completely eliminate them is moving into a particular regional accent, I'd say.
     
  3. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    As an American, I'm afraid I have to disagree: (1) the "n" is not silent, and (2) when I pronounce these words, it is quite easy to hear the "t". If you go to THIS SITE, you'll be able to hear the AE pronunciation (and others) of most words.

    I hope this helps.
     
  4. shannenms

    shannenms Senior Member

    Persian
    But I have heard a thousand times that guests of CNN have said so.
    Thanks for your attention.
     
  5. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    English/inglés
    This sometimes does happen in rapid, casual speech. Therefore, winner may sound the same as winter. Keep in mind that a lot of Americans don't [always] talk this way and it isn't a rule of pronunciation.
     
  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    "Rule" is a strong and erroneous word in this case. Many Americans soften the t, and some sloppy speakers omit it almost entirely. Tens of millions of other Americans pronounce the t very clearly. You have noticed a part of the wide variety of AE pronunciation. I wouldn't call it a rule, but if it is one, I disobey it constantly, and not constanly. :)
     
  7. shannenms

    shannenms Senior Member

    Persian
    Thanks you all for your attention.
     
  8. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    English/inglés
    The word constantly wouldn't have its T dropped anyway because it has to be followed by a vowel.
     
  9. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    And since when is "L" a vowel?
     
  10. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    I forgot to ask. What is a "silent n"?

     
  11. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    As noted before, you are not right, beginning with your assumption that there is such a thing as a single "American pronunciation". The way Americans pronounce English varies enormously depending on many factors, including where they live, their ancestry, their education, and their age. You also speak of "a silent n". I do not know what you mean by this; the "n" in "interview" and "international" is far from silent. Since there is no "silent n" in these words, it makes no sense to speak of what follows something that is not there.

    EDIT: cuchu and I were clearly thinking alike at the same moment!
     
  12. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    English/inglés
    I didn't say that L was a vowel. Read what I wrote more carefully. I said that in order for the T to be dropped, it would have to be followed by a vowel and it is not in the word constant.
     
  13. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    If this is what you meant, it still does not make any more sense in context, as the erroneous "rule" given by the original poster says nothing whatsoever about what follows the "t", and only what precedes it.

    Incidentally, I did read what you wrote very carefully -- which is why I understood the antecedent of the "it" to be not "the letter T generally", but "the letter T in the word constantly", and the letter T in the word constantly is necessarily followed by the letter L.
     
  14. Sprache Senior Member

    United States
    English/inglés
    It makes perfect sense. No American would ever say "constanly" (as cuchuflete suggested), but many do say "winner" for "winter". They only do this when a vowel follows the T. Dear God, do you get it now?
     
  15. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    What I "get", thanks be to God, is that the original question was this:
    There is nothing in this "rule" at all (for the question was about the "rule", was it not?) about what follows the t, only what precedes it. For you to complicate the "rule" further with your own curious additions does little to answer the question asked.
     

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