Aspirated T in unstressed syllable



I read that p, t, and k are aspirated at the beginning of words, but are they aspirated in an unstressed syllable?

For example, the first syllable in the word "today" is unstressed.

Zoltan King

Posted 2015-06-15T20:12:25.300

Reputation: 1 031

1Today I pronouce either t'day, təday, or tooday depending on if I am stressing the word itself. At the beginning of a sentence as a topic/subject, tooday, would be how I would say it: "Tooday is great!". If it were "Later today, ..." it would be t'day or təday depending on how fast I am speaking. In all cases, I am pronouncing some sort of 't' sound. – Michael Dorgan – 2015-06-15T22:12:06.983



Although the pronunciation depends on context, in general you should hear aspiration in unstressed syllables as well.

So if I were to ask someone, "Hey, when did we have that conversation?" they should answer with aspiration when they say "Today."

However, when talking fast, in American English at least, you can see some interesting changes. For example, if in general a speaker of Standard American English were to say "I'm gonna go to the store later today", you might actually hear the sound of the /t/ pronounced as a flap, the same way the /t/ sounds in "butter."


Posted 2015-06-15T20:12:25.300

Reputation: 131