As I was taught in school and , the T ending sound of words is unvoiced and should be pronounced with air, but recently I met a friend from the US, those aired T sounds were missing from her speaking, like "hat", "hot", "right". She speaks like /hæ/, /hɑː/,/raɪ/.

So I wonder if it's common to miss those sounds for Americans?

1 Answer 1


Phonemic /t/ can have at least these allophones in English, depending on speaker and situation:

  • [tʰ]
  • [t]
  • [t̞]
  • [t̪]
  • [ɾ]
  • [ʔ]

The last one is what you are hearing in that speaker; it is the same glottal stop that occurs between the two identical vowels in the eel.

Wikipedia notes that /t/ can become

[ʔ] in some positions in Scottish English, English English, American English, and Australian English

  • 2
    The word Scottish is itself one example.
    – Andrew Leach
    Dec 24, 2014 at 18:03
  • @Andrew: but only in some dialects. It'd usually be a flap in the U.S. Dec 24, 2014 at 18:12
  • I searched "glottal stop" and I was shocked by the variations of how T can be pronounced. May I ask if the glottal stop would also apply to "d"? Dec 24, 2014 at 18:12
  • 3
    I can't think of an accent where /d/ is realised as a glottal stop.
    – Colin Fine
    Dec 24, 2014 at 20:44
  • [ʔ] The glottal stop described, and exampled in the word Scottish, is considered to be lazy speech in Scotland, but is used more often instead of whole parts of words. It's an epidemic.
    – PCARR
    Mar 25, 2015 at 20:02

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