In I’d take ’d t can be pronounced as [t] with the first part of the hold voiced (the second one and the plosion with aspiration are voiceless).

How is it better explained: is it because of [ai] (the two articulatory gestures are overlapped) or because the voiced /d/ is realised this way?

The Praat picture (this video is analysed): enter image description here

  • Why does there hafta be only one reason? That seems like a good solution to the pronunciation problem that contracted auxiliaries pose. Bear in mind that this is only a sample, not a survey; what works phonetically for one speaker may well not for one with a different set of gestures and habits.
    – jlawler
    Jun 8, 2020 at 15:13
  • @jlawler thanks! I don’t exclude any of explanations possible, there’re just some of my thoughts in the question. If there’s something I miss, I’ll be glad to observe it.
    – Aer
    Jun 8, 2020 at 15:23

1 Answer 1


You need to frame this as a broader and testable question, and the investigation has to be conducted with some underlying theory of what might be happening. I think you can probably control speaker, register and recording-circumstance variables just by focusing on the corpus of this speaker's productions. There are a lot of linguistic variables that potentially bear on the datum that you've identified, for example the stop sequence is preceded by a stressed vowel, the consonants are the same except for voicing, they are stops, they appear in the order voiced-voiceless.

If it were the case that the initial voicing span has to do with the preceding vowel (perseverative co-articulation), you predict that you will find the same effect in "I take this...". If that doesn't happen, then you can't just say "it's voicing co-articulation with the preceding vowel". Maybe you can qualify the hypothesis by saying "...as long as the consonant is d but not t, but why not just say "because d is voiced"? A competing hypothesis is that d is a voiced consonant (that's what explains the voicing). Is there evidence that this speaker devoices voiced stops, and if so, in what context? There are basically 6 contexts to look at: VttV, VtV, VtdV, VdtV, VddV and VdV.

My two main points are that devising an explanation for a fact requires you to identify what the fact is, and to consider what other logical possibilities exist. An isolated token is not amenable to explanation because there are too many theoretical variables that possibly influence the outcome, and no basis for reasoned evaluation of alternative outcomes. And, "explanation" implies some kind of underlying theory, so what is that underlying theory?

  • Thanks for your detailed answer, it's a kind of a guide for conducting research in phonetics! Your question about the underlying theory is justified. Maybe I should point it out that I'm looking for any explanation and would be grateful despite its theoretical affinity.
    – Aer
    Jun 8, 2020 at 21:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.