For example, in the word blindness the d and n are quite different and I find it hard to pronounce the d explicitly without making a brief pause. In normal and fast speaking, is it common to omit the d?


Unless speaking very slowly and clearly, most people do not release the /d/.

The /ndn/ is spoken without moving the tongue, but the voice is first directed through the nose (/n/) then momentarily stopped completely (/d/). then again sent through the nose (/n/).

This context neutralises the distinction between /d/ and /t/; but considering the minimal pair feignedness and faintness, they are distinguishable because an effect of the voiced /d/ is to lengthen the preceding vowel a little.

Edit: and as Sumelic points out in a comment, in rapid speech the cluster may get simplified to /nn/ (with only the slightest of stops in the breath-stream between them) or even to /n/.

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