Some examples here. The clusters are marked:

A law that states that...

I spend three months there.

the best structure

It reflects those differences.

It seems that people reduces these pronunciations or combine them in some way in spoken language. What patterns are found in that? Is the manifestation of the clusters largely individually varied?

1 Answer 1


This pattern is well-known but the details are mostly ignored or factually misstated in the literature. It is often said that [t] "deletes", meaning it is phonologically erased, and the basis for the claim is phonetic introspection by linguists. The Articulatory Phonologists, however, have shown that in fact the closure gesture for the stop is modified, not obliterated: this is a problem of phonetic implementation, not phonological rule. The topic has to be approached experimentally via x-ray microbeam or electropalatographic technology, which is non-trivial. Unfortunately, the gadgetry required to detect such gesture reduction is (currently) discriminatory against the informal interview techniques that might tease out the social variables that govern when we do it and when we don't.

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