Could we say that when saying the 'tr' in words like 'train', 'tram' etc, that the /t/ and /r/ often coalesce to make a sound which is more similar to 'tchr'?

I myself definitely do this, but I have not found it documented in any text books that I've read, tho' I'm sure I haven't read them all!

All thoughts/comments much appreciated.


PS. Apparently "Creating the new tag 'coalesence' requires at least '300 reputation." ...in case anyone is wondering why on earth I didn't tag this post properly.

  • Although the question itself is slightly different, this is covered quite well in What is the IPA for "trade"?, which I would consider a duplicate. Feb 1, 2015 at 15:30
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    The r assimilates to the t by becoming an obstruent. I don't understand why you would call this "coalescence".
    – Greg Lee
    Feb 1, 2015 at 15:46
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    Thank you Janus, I couldn't find that post in my search and it was very useful. Greg, I believe coalescence is a type of assimilation.
    – Bob Holmes
    Feb 1, 2015 at 16:02
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    While this isn't called "coalescence" by linguists, I hardly think that linguists should object when laymen use names that mean different things in plain English than in linguistics jargon. (On the other hand, I'm not convinced that creating a tag called "coalescence" would be useful.) Feb 1, 2015 at 16:30
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    I have heard English speakers who pronounce "tr" with a quite distinct "ch" sound embedded. This is not, in my opinion, "normal", and I've always associated it with having a slight speech impediment (since there seem to be other characteristic oddities in the speech), or, perhaps, not being exposed to "proper" English at a young age. (Admittedly, this "association" could be viewed as a prejudice of a sort, but let's not go there.)
    – Hot Licks
    Feb 1, 2015 at 19:07


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