pronunciation: "answer" as "antswer"

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Akkaeev

New Member
Japanese
Do you pronounce "answer" as "antswer"?Have you ever heared other native speakers say "antswer"?
To put it more technically, does plosive epenthesis occur in "answer"?

I know that occurs in the end of the word like prince(prints), sense(scents) or mince(mints), and not in words like "inside" or "consider", where there's syllable boundaries between /n/ and /s/.However, when /ns/ is in the middle of the word and there aren't such syllable boundaries(e.g."answer" or "cancer"), does plosive epenthesis occur or not?

When I looked them up in Webster, I did find inserted /t/, but I'm not sure native speakers actually pronounce that way.

Here's an example of an inserted "t" in the audio:
Definition of ANSWER
 
  • Akkaeev

    New Member
    Japanese
    Thanks for a insightful "answer"! :-D

    I guess some people don't pronounce /t/ in an/t/swer is because the /ns/ in the middle of a word. When it's in the end of the words, such as prince-prints, mince-mints, or sense-scents, I belive most people pronounce those /nts/ sounds.

    Let me ask these two questions:
    (1)Do you insert t in "announce"(announts) and "announcement"(annountsment)?
    (2)How do you pronounce "instance"?"intstants", "instants" or just "instance"?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    For me, 'announce' (and 'pronounce') have the same sound as 'accounts', and 'amounts'. But not 'pronouns'.

    And 'instance' and 'instants' are also identical, and both, I think, have that 't' sound in the middle.

    But you should be aware that we don't deliberately insert this ghost-like t-sound, it just happens. If you find yourself naturally doing it, it's fine. It's not something considered 'wrong', and not something you should make any effort to avoid.
     
    Last edited:

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    There may be a slight involuntary tendency to allow a /t/ to intrude, but it is possible (and I try, usually successfully) to resist it. I really don't want prince and prints to sound the same.
    I don't think it makes much difference whether the /ns/ sound is at the end or in the middle.
    There is a technique for pronouncing the /n/ that avoids the /t/ sound during the glide to the /s/.
     

    Akkaeev

    New Member
    Japanese
    But you should be aware that we don't deliberately insert this ghost-like t-sound, it just happens. If you find yourself naturally doing it, it's fine. It's not something considered 'wrong', and not something you should make any effort to avoid.
    Yes, this is what I feel when I say those words.

    There may be a slight involuntary tendency to allow a /t/ to intrude, but it is possible (and I try, usually successfully) to resist it. I really don't want prince and prints to sound the same.
    I don't think it makes much difference whether the /ns/ sound is at the end or in the middle.
    There is a technique for pronouncing the /n/ that avoids the /t/ sound during the glide to the /s/.
    Sometimes I do hear some native speakers pronounce that way.Maybe it's related to dialects or things like that, but I'm not completely sure.

    Anyway, problem solved.Thank you all so much!:)
     

    Welsh_Sion

    Senior Member
    Welsh - Northern
    I forget where the joke originates from but there is a story involving Cinderella which [SPOILER ALERT!] plays on the sounds of 'prince' and 'prints'. Perhaps, if we can trace the origin we could identify which accent introduces the 't' sound in 'prince'.

    Anyway, the story goes that Cinderella took some camera film to the chemist's in order to be developed. [You can tell this is an old joke as it pre-dates digital cameras.] Anyway, she returns a few days later expecting to see her photographs. But she is out of luck and the shop assistant promises her the photos will be ready soon. She returns the next day and still no photos. Cinderella tries again on the next few days and is becoming a little annoyed. So the shop assistant tells her, "Don't worry, Cinderella. Some day, you're prints will come!"

    [As I said - it's an old joke ...]
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    I don't think it's ever intentional. It just sort of sounds like a t from the way the voice transitions between those letters. The n is made with the tongue in the same position as the t, against the roof of the mouth. You have to move your tongue away from that position to make the s. If air inadvertently escapes as you do that, you have recreated the method of making a t, whether intentional or not.
     

    Riyan

    Senior Member
    Pashto
    I don't, personally. I say 'aan-sir' (ˈɑːnsər). 😊
    (Your profile says you're a speaker of British English, so you probably pronounce it [ˈɑːnsə], no r.) :)

    ------

    @Welsh_Sion,

    According to an article "Excrescent stops in American English" by Research Gate:

    American English is frequently described as having an intrusive oral stop release between a nasal consonant and a voiceless fricative. A canonical example is "warmth", where /wɔɹm + θ/ is pronounced [wɔɹmpθ] with an excrescent p.

    Other examples are prince ([pɹɪnts]), youngster ([jʌŋkstɹ]), dreamt ([dʒɹɛmpt]). This is not present in every dialect of English, but commonly reported in American English, and seems to have little variation within dialects where it occurs (Fourakis and Port, 1986).
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    In fact, I find it hard to insert a 't'. :confused: I only succeed partially when I hold the /n/ for too long and my tongue presses against the back of my upper teeth too hard - all of which is usually out of the question when speaking normally... :)
     

    Akkaeev

    New Member
    Japanese
    Yes, I have to concentrate if I want add a t to answer. 👍
    That does make sense.When I pronounce words like "answer", "since", "once", "prince", etc. without t, like non-rhotic speakers, I think I tend to pronounce /n/ with the blade of the tongue(and it occurs around postalveolar, rather than on the alveolar ridge).On the contrary, when I add t to those words, I pronounce /n/ in a more common way, i.e. with the tip of the tongue.
     

    Akkaeev

    New Member
    Japanese
    When I say answer, my tongue doesn't touch the back of my teeth.
    Yes, that's what I meant in a previous reply.I think your tongue blade touches postalveolar or something, rather than the tip of the tongue touching alveolar ridge(around back of your teeth) when you pronounce /n/ in /ns/-containing words.That way you can connect /n/ and /s/ smoothly without inserting an additional /t/-ish something.Roughly speaking, it occurs slightly more back part of your mouth than regular /n/ does.Is that correct?
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    When I say answer, my tongue doesn't touch the back of my teeth.
    Indeed, it touches the palate somewhere behind and near the teeth to produce the /n/. If it must also produce a /t/, it must move a little forward, towards the back of the teeth. Or some such thing...
     

    Akkaeev

    New Member
    Japanese
    Indeed, it touches the palate somewhere behind and near the teeth to produce the /n/. If it must also produce a /t/, it must move a little forward, towards the back of the teeth. Or some such thing...
    Exactly.Do you think you pronounce it with the tongue blade rather than the tongue tip?In my case, I tend to insert /t/ when I try to pronounce with the tip of the tongue on a bit forward.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Exactly.Do you think you pronounce it with the tongue blade rather than the tongue tip?
    You got me now! I can't decide whether it is a tip or a blade :D Perhaps it is the tip, but there is no 't'. If I try to insert it, the tip goes elsewhere and likely becomes a blade, but I still cannot be sure. :) What I know for sure is that the tongue stays where it is for both the /n/ and the /s/...
     

    Akkaeev

    New Member
    Japanese
    You got me now! I can't decide whether it is a tip or a blade :D Perhaps it is the tip, but there is no 't'. If I try to insert it, the tip goes elsewhere and likely becomes a blade, but I still cannot be sure. :) What I know for sure is that the tongue stays where it is for both the /n/ and the /s/...
    >What I know for sure is that the tongue stays where it is for both the /n/ and the /s/...
    This is it!This is exactly what I wanted to say, but couldn't find on the web, books etc.I believe this post will be a valuable asset for other EFL learners, if not for phonologists.:D Thank you so much!
     
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