Better/Little-the tt pronunciation

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will.espmx

Senior Member
Portugués, Brasil
Hi,
I learned that in Better/ Little the TT is pronounced as an R (American English), but in British English the TT is usually pronounced with T. Then:

In the song in question:
a) What's the pronunciation of Bonnie Tyler for Little and Better?
b) Whisch the native language of Bonnie Tyler:English or Welsh?
c) What is the general pronunciation for the TT in Wales?
Excuse me for my mistakes. I'm new in English!
 
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  • brooklyn13

    Member
    American English
    I learned that in Better/ Little the TT is pronounced as an R (American English), but in British English the TT is usually pronounced with T.
    ^^I am not sure of the answers to the other questions, but to clarify, the TT is not pronounced as a 'R', but a 'D', in American English.. :)
     

    Alxmrphi

    Senior Member
    UK English
    In American English it's called an alveolar trill, or more commonly 'tapping/flapping'.
    We have some areas in British English that use an [r] in this environment, one of which being some speakers in my area.
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    ^^I am not sure of the answers to the other questions, but to clarify, the TT is not pronounced as a 'R', but a 'D', in American English.. :)
    The original poster's native language is Portuguese, which includes an alveolar tap [ɾ], represented in print by a single "r." This is the same consonant as in the middle of "little" and "pedal" in some accents in American English, which is commonly represented as a "d" by those whose accent does not include it.

    It seems to me that describing this sound as a "d" has the potential to mislead those learning English as a foreign language. This is a link to a page which includes the pronunciation of a speaker of British English for the word "pedal." If someone trying to speak with an American pronunciation were to use that "d" sound in his pronunciation of "better," I expect that it would sound rather odd to me.
     

    Stain

    Member
    Italian
    Hi everyone!

    "How do you feel?"
    "Actually I've been be'er"

    The latter guy is British. How come he didn't pronounce the 'tt'? Is it a dialect? Is it slang?
     

    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    We have a number of threads on this:

    pronunciation: -t- between vowels in AE and BE

    The American /t/ sound between vowels

    To the original question: Bonnie Tyler is Welsh, and the Welsh speakers I know would use [t] in better or possibly a glottal stop (be'er). Stain: the use of the glottal stop in this way is very common in British English particularly in relaxed and informal circumstances and if the speaker is not is not 'upper class'. (I've put 'upper class' in scare quotes. I'm unwilling to define it ...)
     

    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Be'er is just lazy speech associated in particular with south-eastern English ("estuary English"). This is called a glottal stop. It's a normal feature of British English speech when the voiceless consonant t is at the end of a word, as in, say, cat. When it is used to pronounce the sound of a voiceless consonant in the middle of a word, people are likely to assume that the speaker is poorly educated. He's Bri'ish and should know be'er.
    It only applies to the voiceless t. The glottal stop isn't used for d, which (in standard British English) is the voiced equivalent of t - i.e. the tongue is in the same position in the mouth, the only difference is voicing.
    For example, no-one says la'er for ladder, because it would be understood as latter.
     
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    Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Yes, that's true, but it still comes across as very informal (if you don't like the word "lazy"). I say "lazy" in the sense that it takes less effort to produce the sound. You just constrict the glottis and don't have to move your tongue. Even in northern and Scottish accents, people presenting serious interviews or weather forecasts on TV won't use the glottal stop in the middle of a word. It comes across as uneducated, and would tend to count against you if you were applying for any sort of job dealing with the public, e.g. call centre where your business image matters.
     
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