How does one pronounce 'alphabetical' and 'pharmaceutical' in American English?

Is it phar•ma•ceu•di•cal or phar•ma•ceu•i•cal? And is it al•pha•bet•di•cal or al•pha•bet•i•cal?

Do you pronounce 'ti' as 'di' or do you pronounce just the 'i' with the 't' silent?

  • I would pronounce the 't' as'ti' but I'm British – mgb Jan 27 '12 at 5:42
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    Related question: english.stackexchange.com/questions/13980/… – J.T. Grimes Jan 27 '12 at 6:05
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    Why was this closed as general reference? Intermedial 't's are usually not described in references as a dental flap for AmE in dictionaries, online or otherwise. Of course it should be closed as 'exact duplicate' from @BoofusMcGoofus 's comment. – Mitch Jan 27 '12 at 16:09

A t in the middle of a word is often pronounced as a soft d in American English. (I think the sound is technically known as a flap or tap.) In both of the words you've asked about, most Americans are likely to make a sound closer to a d than a t.

This page has some sound files with flapped and un-flapped t's, if you'd like an example of what that sounds like.

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These words are not pronounced with d in American. They are pronounced with an alveolar flap. In general American, this consonant replaces both t and d when they lie between two vowels, the first of which is stressed, and it sounds very much like a d to British ears.

If you pronounce these words with a regular t, Americans will understand you perfectly, although it will contribute to an impression of a foreign accent (my guess is that it would sound like a very slight Spanish accent if you pronounce everything but these t's and d's the way Americans do). If you pronounce these words with a regular d, I believe Americans would be more likely to misunderstand you, although I don't know whether anybody has studied it.

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Yes, mgb is correct, 't' is pronounced 'ti'
Pharmaceutical is pronounced phar·ma·ceu·ti·cal. Alphabetical is pronounced al·pha·bet·i·cal.

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  • Is your answer about British English? The OP is asking about AmE. – Mitch Jan 27 '12 at 15:03
  • No, American english. I am an American. – user176577 Jan 28 '12 at 0:22

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