Pronunciation after dropping e caduc (tu t'tiens, sout'nu)

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New Member
English - USA
Hi I've had this question in mind for a long time and finally came on to ask it. I'm looking for native speakers intuitions to help with my own accent.

I've noticed that after the e caduc is dropped in some words you are sometimes left with two of the same consonants in a row, for example with reflexives/pronouns "tu m'mérites" or even "Tu t'tiens". Sometimes I hear a lengthening of the consonant, which is more or less a pause between the vowel and the consonant,(and it will always be a vowel because of the three consonant rule) but sometimes it sounds like it completely assimilates and "tu t'tiens' can sound exactly like 'tu tiens'.
Would you say you would pronounce "tu t'tiens" and "tu tiens" differently or the same?

Also if you are familiar with glottal stops [ʔ] (like the 't' on ends of words in american english) I would like to know if French ever uses them in place of 't' at the end of a syllable when an e caduc is dropped. For example sout'nu can sound like /suʔ ny/ and in a song i hear 'elle va t'larguer' which sounds a little like /ɛl vaʔ lar ge/. These usually sound like the previous vowel is cut short. I ask because 't' is pronounced at the ends of words all the time with the endings -ette and -te and if it were completely consistent soutenu would sound like /sut ny/ and i'm not sure if the glottal stop is what they are using.

Thank you for any answers
  • Micia93

    Senior Member
    France French
    Welcome leVert :)

    I pronounce "tu t'tiens" like "tute tiens" and "tu tiens" like "tu tiens"
    I don't pronounce the "e" in "tute tiens", just like with the ending of "flûte"

    Maître Capello

    Mod et ratures
    French – Switzerland
    Tu te tiens and tu tiens are definitely pronounced differently: [ty.tə.tjɛ̃] (formal) or [tyʔ.tjɛ̃] (colloquial), and [ty.tjɛ̃] respectively.

    Similarly, Elle va te larger is pronounced [ɛl.vaʔ.laʁ.ge] in colloquial French.

    As to soutenu, I think we pronounce it [sutny] most of the time, but you may sometimes hear [suʔny] instead.
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