I'm asking about north-American English.

In words like "refund", "band" and "diamond", is the /d/ is fully released (as an un-aspirated /d/), or stopped, like the /nt/ combo? (different can and usually pronounced as [dɪfɹənt̚])?

1 Answer 1


The elision of a voiced dental stop in certain environments is not limited to American English, but can be considered an international standard.

Or is that AmE innernational? If I strain my memory to produce a context where a d is similarly dropped, it would be how Lawrence Welk pronounced his catchphrase "Wonnerful, wonnerful," but he, famously, was not a native speaker, though perfectly capable of pronouncing wonderful when necessary. Otherwise, even those who pronounce winter as winner will pronounce the d in wander. The AmE allergy to medially pronounced t — so often flapped or elided — does not extend to its voiced twin.

Your examples all have -nd in final position, which is fairly protected in most environments except in the conjunction and, which prosody can reduce to a mere n, and in AAVE. One would expect, however, elision for all native speakers when -nd is followed by another dental stop:

We will send your refund to the address you provided.

He's bound to come eventually.

Or even:

"I assume, my Lord, you have come to bend the knee."

unless, of course, you're Daenerys Targeryan addressing John Snow with royally crisp consonants.

Other speakers won't likely be quite as fussy, and even Daenerys would need a glottal stop to pronounce every consonant in bound to. In the same way, Daenerys might pronounce the plurals

refunds, bands, diamonds

with a non-aspirated d but the common folk would simply elide it.

  • 1
    note I don't ask about elision but about stopping. if you had to say "this is my band", would you stop your d?
    – David Haim
    Feb 9, 2018 at 11:28
  • That's answered when I talk about final position, which goes double for final position in a clause. There is no such thing as an unstopped d, since it's a dental stop. It can be unaspirated in certain environments. Except in assimilated environments (bound to) and with plurals and 3rd p sg (binds = bines) the d is pronounced normally except in AAVE.
    – KarlG
    Feb 9, 2018 at 12:20
  • I feel like 'international standard' is a bit strong. There's a tendency in certain varieties to do it, as well as the lack of a tendency to do it in others. Like the classic 'water' in AmE is lenited to a flap but is, to my AmE ears, an extra aspirated t in RP.
    – Mitch
    May 10, 2018 at 19:11
  • @Mitch: the video I linked to is from the BBC Learning English series, which I would consider an authoritative source on BrE.
    – KarlG
    May 11, 2018 at 4:06

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