On Jan 11, The Wall Street Journal published an interview with President Trump that contained the following phrase:
With that being said, President Xi has been extremely generous with what he’s said, I like him a lot. I have a great relationship with him, as you know I have a great relationship with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea.
I have relationships with people, I think you people are surprised.
The White House subsequently denied this statement, claiming that the President rather said (emphasis mine):
I'd probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea
WSJ responded by publishing audio recording that, in their opinion, supports their original transcript. This has been considered adequate evidence by many commentators, for example Newsweek. I, however, beg to differ.
Having listened to the recording carefully, it seems to me that Trump's I was followed by a glottal stop. Why is this important? T-glottalization commonly occurs in American English and I thought Trump could show similar yet less exhibited D-glottalization, which would perfectly resolve the whole controversy.
However, my brief research shows that this sound change is rarely mentioned by phonologists, and attributed mostly to African American speakers, such as this study from Houston area.
Not having reached a conclusion myself, my questions are:
- Am I correct transcribing Trump's words as [ʌɪʔ ˈprɒbəbli]?
- Is D-glottalization a thing for a New York white speaker, i.e. would he pronounce I'd as [ʌɪʔ]?