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Is there an omission in pronouncing the word "good" when it happens with words starting with /p/ /b/? I mean, is it pronounced as /gu poınt/ in good point or like /gud poınt/?

If there is, is it due to elision in linguistics or another rule? Or maybe because /d/ is a voiced stop and /p/ is a voicless stop, it's easier to pronouce it that way?

I searched in some linguistics books like Fulk, Fromkin, and yule's books, but no clues I found.

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In careful speech, it's pronounced [gʊd pɔɪnt] in American English. In maximally casual speech it's generally pronounced [gʊ Xpɔɪnt], where "X" means that there may be some elongation of /p/. However, that could simply be an automatic timing adjustment of an intervocalic consonant at a foot-juncture: you don't get [ʊ ɪ ɛ] foot-finally and there is evidence that a following consonant gets attached to the preceding syllable, keeping those vowels out of final position. Between those speech styles there are various kinds of phonetic overlap in articulators where there is lingual raising but it is mostly acoustically masked by the following labial closure.

It happens, so it depends on what you mean by "rule". If your universe of things includes rules of phonetic implementation (some people deny that they exist) then yes, this is due to a rule, specifically one of phonetic implementation.

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The alveolar consonant /d/, like the alveolar consonants /t/ and /n/, is highly unstable in English. It will tend to change its place of articulation according to the sound coming afterwards (it will assimilate its place of articulation). In the phrase good point the sound after the /d/ is a /p/. The phoneme /p/ is made with the lips—we say that it is bilabial. For this reason the /d/ may also become bilabial. It will remain a lenis ('voiced') consonant, and it will still be a plosive. This means that it will have become a /b/. So what you will actually hear in that case is:

  • /gʊb pɔɪnt/ (goob point)

This can also happen if the /d/ occurs before a /b/:

  • /gʊb bʊk/ (goob book)

It will occasionally happen when a /d/ occurs before /w/:

  • /reb waɪn/ (reb wine)

If the /d/ occurs before a /k/ or a /g/, it may become a /g/:

  • /gʊg kɔ:l/ (goog call)
  • /gʊg gri:f/ (goog grief)

This is often referred to as dealveolar assimilation, because the consonant is moving away from its normal alveolar position, to effectively become a different consonant.

The Original poster's question:

There will be no elision of the /d/ in this environemt. However we are likely to get dealveolar assimilation. Because this consonant will now be homorganic (made with the same parts of the mouth) with the following /p/, it will not be released and may be less easy to hear. There will also be some devoicing of the /d/ because of the following voiceless /p/, and so it may appear more /p/-like.


Note: I've used the British English transcription system used by John Wells in LPD for this post.

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The [d] in "good point" is lost by a most curious mechanism. A familiar fact about midwestern (and other) English is that [t] in the offset of a syllable, when a consonant follows, can change to a glottalized [t'] or a glottal stop [?].

But why, one might wonder, does the voicelessness of the [t] help trigger this change? Why doesn't the same thing happen to [d] as happens to [t]? Well, it does. Except a glottalized [d'] is difficult, and it is even harder when the oral alveolar closure is lost, because then what is left is a voiced glottal stop.

The voiced glottal stop, though, is not possible, since it requires the glottis to be both closed and partially open. This sound segment self-destructs, and we hear nothing.

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  • thanks 4 the answer. Does the speaker themselves understand this boiced glottal stop? Before you answer I was pronouncing the phrase and wandered what was the thing I felt befor /p/ sound happen. It was something like /ə/ but not that much deep. Is this the same with the glottal stop, you did me a favore and described? BTW, after that it seems /p/ is dubled or as it's called prolonged. Is it naturally this way or I am pronouncing it this way?
    – user13320
    Jun 9 '16 at 10:11
  • @Sina That 'prolonged' p you're hearing is most likely a /bp/ cluster. Jun 9 '16 at 15:00
  • @Araucaria What about that /ə/ like sound, is it a voiced glottal stop. I mean can we feel it, or the thing I feel is that?
    – user13320
    Jun 9 '16 at 15:14
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    @Sina, When the stress contour of "good point" is 0 1, in very casual pronunciation, I think the [d] can be entirely missing. When the contour is 3 1, that is with a low level of stress on the first syllable, it seems possible to have something at the end of the first syllable which is not [b] (though that is also possible), not prolongation of either the preceding vowel or the following [p]. I've worried about this, but further I cannot go. Voiced glottal stop? If that is even possible, "maybe" is the best I can do.
    – Greg Lee
    Jun 9 '16 at 19:00

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