Do Americans remove the "t" in "wanted"?

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When you pronounce the phrase "I got a message you wanted to see me", is the "t" usually deleted in the word "wanted"? Thank you.

Zoltan King

Posted 2015-10-13T07:56:19.040

Reputation: 1 031

I suspect this usage is specifically affected by the fact that it's exceptionally common for all native speakers (not just AmE) to say things like *You're gonna wanna see this!* in casual speech (where what's really being elided in both cases is primarily the /t/ of *to*). Off-hand I can't think of any other cases where /nt/ the middle of a word reduces to just /n/. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2015-10-13T17:57:43.197

Answers

5

There is such a tendency, but it varies in degree regionally, and the vowel involved will also have an effect on the degree of inarticulation. The lower the vowel before the nasal, the less articulate the dental. With high front vowels, e.g. hinted, the dental is likely to be articulated more forcefully than it would be with low back vowels, haunted.

Speakers native to my area of the country (mid-Atlantic) still place the tongue as if to produce the dental; it's only the degree of the plosiveness which changes. Speakers native to the south are more likely not to position the tongue forward for the dental; it would remain pretty much where it had been when producing the preceding nasal.

If you listen to how southerners and northerners say the word haunted, you'll notice that the southerners produce the vowel lower and farther to the back, and this tends to move the entire apparatus back. Thus they would have a little more "distance" to travel to produce an articulate dental than a northerner would.

Tᴚoɯɐuo

Posted 2015-10-13T07:56:19.040

Reputation: 116 610

1

I've noticed more and more lately that Americans, at least in my region, do tend to elide t's in the middles of words. Thus, "Martin" becomes "Mar-uhn", "wanted" becomes "wan-ned", and "Atlanta" becomes "Atlanna". :-(

EDIT I have a French friend who as observed to me that Americans in general tend to let t's in the middles of words go soft. I add this because she has visited other parts of the country, and she comes to it with an outsider's ear.

G. Ann - SonarSource Team

Posted 2015-10-13T07:56:19.040

Reputation: 3 371

5"wan-ned" and "Atlanna" sound right to me, but I think that's a glottal stop in the middle of "Martin", not elision. In your region is it pronounced without the stop? – Dan Getz – 2015-10-13T12:10:03.770

@DanGetz I have heard both: the elision in general conversation and the glottal stop from a correspondent on the local "Atlanna" news (wince!). – G. Ann - SonarSource Team – 2015-10-13T12:16:09.460