Apr 8, 2015

Blogging from A to Z: G is for...Glottal Stop


In America, despite my manly good looks, keen mind, and effervescent sense of humor...


...the first thing people normally notice about me is how I talk. Nowadays, my accent has been corrupted by the use of American words, the need to slow down to be understood, and the subtle assimilation of residency. Here in America, I still sound Scottish enough to raise questions about where I come from. To people in the UK, I sound American.


One thing people pick up on is my pronunciation of certain words, particularly those with the double t in the middle: 
Butter - Buh-uhr. This is due to Scots using a Glottal Stop when pronouncing those words.

A glottal stop is a complete or partial closure of the glottis (vocal folds) creating a sound which is used instead of the actual sound of the letter. So in butter, instead of the hard "t" sound I use a glottal stop.

Americans also use glottal stops, but you just don't notice it. Don't think too hard about it...just say:

Cat litter.

Did you make the t sounds or were they replaced with a constriction of the glottis and an interruption in air flow?

Say: Important


Did you say imPOR-unh? That's a glottal stop.

Say: Right now

...put...

...sentence...


...button...


...apartment...


...hate mail...

Do you hear it? If you're replacing a consonant sound with what is basically an interruption in air flow through your vocal chords, you should notice, unless you're really concentrating and over-pronouncing.

So, now that I've got you thinking about it, you'll be talking weird for a while...

You're welcome!


That was G in the A to Z Blog Challenge. Come back tomorrow for H. And in the meantime go to http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/ and check out some of the other bloggers.

~ GSY

4 comments:

  1. LOL! Delightful post, and yep, I do it too :D

    I hope you have a wonderful time during the rest of A to Z!
    Sylvia van Bruggen @ Playful Creative

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  2. Great, I probably am going to be talking weird for a while. Thanks for that. ;) Also, Scottish accents are the best.

    Happy A to Z!

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  3. Yep, I do it. But I hate the nasal quality of my voice more, however I enunciate very clearly. I think its too late to change. Interesting post.

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  4. Scottish accents are the best! Although I might be biased. :)

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