When a plosive is at the beginning of a word, the pronunciation naturally flows into the vowel which follows it. The extra vowel sound following the plosive seems to give the plosive a very obvious end. When the plosive is at the end of a word, I find myself releasing the stop with an extra bit of sound at the end which does not seem to be part of the plosive itself.
Consider "cat" which is generally transcribed as [kæt]. I feel like I pronounce it more like [kætə].
Another example is [med]. I find that I cannot detect the difference between [med] and [men] unless I audibly release the [d] in [med]. (This also begs the question of how to pronounce a word which ends in a nasal followed by a plosive on the same articulation point like [lænd]).
I'm looking for two pieces to the answer:
- Is the extra sound an actual feature of the pronunciation of the plosive?
- If yes, is this feature unique to English or is it common to all languages with plosives at the end of a word.