Aspiration

This is a video tutorial on aspiration (and the lack of aspiration) in various languages and accents of English.


2 replies
  1. Ivetta
    Ivetta says:

    Hi Geoff, your videos are excellent and very clear. I am still coming to terms with pronouncing a stressed “t” as the Russian “ц”. I do have to say that “back in the day” my teachers did get across the message that the English “t” was not dental. I also decided to check out what Nabokov sounded liked in English, and here is what I found, this right up the way of this video: he reads the first lines of “Lolita” which describe how the tongue moves pronouncing the name, and the “t” is dental, which makes sense given that protagonist is an immigrant in the U.S.A. from some European country. https://youtu.be/p3fsSL4Bw9w?t=40s Thought you would like this literary passage on phonetics.

    Reply
    • Geoff Lindsey
      Geoff Lindsey says:

      Hi Ivetta. Thanks for the link to the clip, which I’ve never seen. After listening to Nabokov, I think your ‘immigrant’ interpretation is probably right. But when I read the passage decades ago, I thought it might just be artistic license. Note that American linguistics had a tradition of referring to t and d in English ‘broadly’ as dental. Eg Bloomfield in his classic Language (1933) wrote about stops/plosives:

      English distinguishes three types as to position: labial (more exactly, bilabial)… dental (more exactly, alveolar, or better gingival)… and velar

      I’ve never heard anyone else call English t and d ‘gingival’!

      Reply
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