pronunciation - thaT You - whaT You

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jessbrazil

Member
Portuguese
"It doesn't matter that you overshoot continually even if you don't learn what you should've done."

Some days ago, I sent an audio message to a friend in which I said that sentence (for speaking practice purposes only). I noticed a flap t between the letter t and the letter y but I'm not sure if that is correct. The reason is because y does sound like a vowel, so I said it kind of "instinctively". I only noticed it when I had already sent the audio message.
I remember receiving a text message from another American friend once in which he says: "Whatcha doing?", so, apparently, there's no flap t between those letters in the American accent (since "whatcha" stands for What are you doing?) but I would like to know anyway.

Is it possible a flap t between those letters (t followed by y)?
 
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  • Nickle Sydney

    Senior Member
    I'm not familiar with these terms: flap t and other stuff, but "that you" sounds like "thatchu" and what you sounds like "whatchu".

    BUT - I'm drawing your attention to this particular point - first of all, this way of pronunciation doesn't apply all the time. I can easily imagine people saying "that you / what you" distinctly. Secondly, I live in a specific area. Thirdly, I'm not even a native speaker to comment on such issues. :D
     
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    sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    I remember receiving a text message from another American friend once in which he says: "Whatcha doing?", so, apparently, there's no flap t between those letters in the American accent (since "whatcha" stands for What are you doing?) but I would like to know anyway.
    While it is true that some lazy speakers of AE run "what are you" together and it comes out "whatcha" .... and some texters try to be cute by writing it as well, as they do with other non-words, such as "gotcha," etc.

    Do not assume that it is standard AE. I strongly advise that learners do not partake.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Is it possible a flap t between those letters (t followed by y)?
    Yes, it is possible. As you point out, "that you" is like "thatiu". It is a T sound between 2 vowel sounds, which is the position where some people use the "flap T" sound.

    The spoken "whatcha" (meaning "what are you") has an A sound, a T sound, a CH sound, and an A sound. So the T is not between two vowels, and won't be a "flap T".
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    There is no possibility for a flap "t" in "that you" or "what you".
    In "you", treat "y" as a consonant, not a vowel.
    Whether you imitate it or not, you need to recognize "thatchu" and "whatchu" in rapid speech,
    by both lazy and hardworking speakers.
    (But please don't write them that way!)
     
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    jessbrazil

    Member
    Portuguese
    That's the problem. On one side, although y sounds like a vowel, it's a consonant. On the other side, the "explanation" for a flap t is that it happens when the letter t is placed between vowel sounds.
    It seems like even you guys are confused. :confused:


    By the way, I'm aware that "thatchu" and "whatchu" are way more common. Thank God, my listening skills are great.
    However, imitating it would imply that I would have to get rid off another bad habit, which would take me even more time but that's ok; I can do it. :cool:
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    On one side, although y sounds like a vowel, it's a consonant.
    In "you", it's a consonant because it's not syllabic.
    In "pretty" or "duty", it's a vowel because it's syllabic.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    At this point I would just call Whatcha a different word. It's not really a combination of anything anymore.
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Further thoughts about "thatchu" and "whatchu":
    The "ch" sound occurs when the second word is "you" or "your",
    but not with most other words beginning with "y"!
    "Whatchyear did that happen in?":cross:
    "Thatchyoung man is my son.":cross:
    "Thatchyellow car is John's.":cross:
    "Is thatchur answer?":tick:
    (I repeat: Do not write them this way.)
     

    Cenzontle

    Senior Member
    English, U.S.
    Amendment to my post #10:
    "Whatchu" and "thatchu" occur when "you" is unstressed, but not when it's stressed:
    "They said thatchu washed the windows yesterday.":tick:
    "They said thatchu, not Henry, washed the windows.":cross:
    Stress, not the pronoun "you", may be the determining factor.
    Native-speakers of Am.Eng., can we say "They say thatchunanimous approval is impossible"?:confused:
     
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    natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Historically this has occurred within words: literature, lecture, actual and so on. Occasionally, you might still hear lit-ruh-tyoo-uh - but for many people this comes across as quaint or poncy.

    Some speakers have the ch sound in combinations like 'last year'.

    I don't think this is confined to AmE.
     

    Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    This 'literature' sound is common on British English too. It's hard to say 't' and 'y' separately.
    I always remember a tiny old lady standing beside me waiting to cross the road in New York City. Without any preamble, she asked me ''Watcha tink of de rab chewer?'' What on earth was a 'rab chewer'? The only 'rapture' I'd heard of back then was the extreme delight sort, so I told her I hadn't experienced much lately.
     
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