interesting [pronunciation]

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stephenlearner

Senior Member
Chinese
Hi,

Is the second T in interesting aspirated or not?

The WR dictionary audio clips sound like an unaspirated T.
I also listened to the other sources online; they sound like an aspirated T.

Thanks.
 
  • AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Hi,

    Is the second T in interesting aspirated or not?

    The WR dictionary audio clips sound like an unaspirated T.
    I also listened to the other sources online; they sound like an aspirated T.

    Thanks.
    It may or may not be aspirated depending on how fast I'm talking. I normally don't aspirate it.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    OK. I see.

    Should it be aspirated? I wonder if T is the beginning of the last syllable. If it is, it should be aspirated.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    Is the T in these words unaspirated?

    -isting (like listing, fisting)

    -usting (like busting, gusting, dusting)

    -asting (like basting, fasting)

    -esting (like besting, nesting, jesting)

    -osting (like frosting, hosting, posting)

    resistance,
    master,
    system,
    justice,
    blister.
     
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    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Is the T in these words unaspirated?

    -isting (like listing, fisting)

    -usting (like busting, gusting, dusting)

    -asting (like basting, fasting)

    -esting (like besting, nesting, jesting)

    -osting (like frosting, hosting, posting)

    resistance,
    master,
    system,
    justice,
    blister.
    I don't think I aspirate them. It probably won't affect comprehension, but you'll sound like you're emphasizing the final syllable if you use an aspirated T in those words. This isn't natural.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Everyone's pronunciation is different, but the normal (most common) rules are:

    1. Voiceless stops (PTK) are aspirated at the start of a word.

    2. Voiceless stops are aspirated at the start of a stressed syllable.

    3. Voiceless stops are unaspirated in other places.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    Morpheme boundary: interest + ing
    interesting
    = interest + ing. An aspirated /t/ (as in gastank 'name of a British TV show', from gas + tank) suggests a morphological analysis of interes + ting, which is wrong in my view.

    Syllable boundary: ˈin-t(ə-)rə-stiŋ
    The second phoneme in an onset cluster is normally unaspirated, for example, stand, straight, spend, spray, sky, screen...
     
    Last edited:

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    Morpheme boundary: interest + ing
    interesting
    = interest + ing. An aspirated /t/ (as in gastank 'name of a British TV show', from gas + tank) suggests a morphological analysis of interes + ting, which is wrong in my view.

    Syllable boundary: ˈin-t(ə-)rə-stiŋ
    The second phoneme in an onset cluster is normally unaspirated, for example, stand, straight, spend, spray, sky, screen...
    In other words, the T in gas tank is aspirated because "tank" is a separate word; therefore, the second syllable of the utterance begins with T. The T in the syllable -sting is not aspirated because it's the second phoneme of an onset cluster.

    Dictionaries often divide syllables as, e.g., in·ter·est·ing. This won't tell you how to pronounce the T in -sting.
     

    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    resistance [rɪˈzɪstəns],
    master [ˈmæstɚ] ,
    system [ˈsɪstəm],
    justice [ˈdʒʌstɪs],
    blister [ˈblɪstɚ].

    I can't tell from the IPA symbols how the syllables are divided. Should they be divided like A or B:
    A ---------------B
    resi·stance -- resis·tance
    sy·stem ------sys·tem
    ma·ster ------mas·ter
    ju·stice ------jus·tice
    bli·ster ------blis·ter


    For the word "doctor", I find that there may be a BrE/AmE difference. BrE aspirated for T, AmE unaspirated for T.
     
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    stephenlearner

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    You may consult the Merriam-Webster dictionary, for example, resistance [ri-ˈzi-stən(t)s].
    Thank you very much.

    These are from the Merriam-Webster. But they confuse me. The divisions in the word itself and in its transcription seem different.
    re·sis·tance [ri-ˈzi-stən(t)s].
    sys·tem | \ˈsi-stəm \
    jus·tice | \ˈjə-stəs \
    blis·ter | \ˈbli-stər \
    mas·ter | \ˈmas-tər \ (This one is consistent.)
    doc·tor | \ˈdäk-tər \ (This one is consistent.)
     

    AnythingGoes

    Senior Member
    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    You'll be less likely to be misunderstood if you always use the unaspirated pronunciation after an S. The sounds don't convey different meanings in English, but aspirating a T where it's not expected will sound odder than the other way around.
     

    Skatinginbc

    Senior Member
    Mandarin 國語
    The divisions in the word itself and in its transcription seem different.
    Follow the dictionary's phonetic transcriptions for syllable boundary.

    There are occasions where morpheme boundary may have an effect. For example, the word "doctor" is conventionally analyzed as doc + tor (from Latin doctor 'teacher' = doceō 'teach' +‎ -tor 'nominalizing suffix'). As a result, the /t/ is aspirated, like the /t/ in victor (from Latin victor = vic + -tor). The word "master" has multiple meanings and can be analyzed as either (1) mast 'sail pole' + er, or (2) ma + ster (from Latin mag- 'great' + -ester/-ister). The latter meaning is more common, and therefore the word is usually pronounced as [ˈmæ-stər] with an unaspirated /t/ in American English.
     
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