7

This combination is really hard to me. This is an example:

Knowing what to check is just the start to process.

Can anyone help?

  • 1
    I find myself not pronouncing the "t" in the word "just" when I read the sentence you have written. The next word "the" is pronounced properly. – Irene Mar 20 '12 at 19:48
8

In many (most?) dialects in both the US and the UK, "just the" would in normal speech would be pronounced [ʤʌsðə] before a consonant, or [ʤʌsðiː] before a vowel. That is, the 't' would be elided.

  • Upvoting because I'm one of the many (most?), not because I actually know and agree that either word is correct (for all I know, it should really be a few! :) – FumbleFingers Mar 20 '12 at 20:24
  • 3
    I would not say that the /t/ is totally unpronounced, e.g. in "a big loss the previous year" vs. "she lost the love of her life", the /t/ in 'lost' would be realized as a brief glottal stop or pause in the frication of the [s] before the [ð] begins, whereas in loss the the [s] would glide directly into [ð] without any pause. – nohat Mar 20 '12 at 20:40
  • 1
    Either way, for a non-native the guidance to elide it is not bad, I would venture; brief glottal stops or changes in frication or stridency are hard to learn or teach. – Mark Beadles Mar 20 '12 at 20:50
  • 1
    It's normal Fast Speech Rules for the /-t-/ in a /-stð-/ cluster to disappear, since you can't move your tongue from sibilant alveolar /s/ to interdental fricative /ð/ without passing through dental /t/ territory. So, don't bother to try and pronounce it just because it's spelled that way. That way likes Cholmondeley and Madness. – John Lawler Mar 20 '12 at 22:04
  • 1
    @Mark Beadles I do really wish there were a free resource like COCA with phonetic data that would enable a quick and dirty analysis. – nohat Mar 20 '12 at 22:49
4

It's quite normal to omit a sound in this and in similar combinations of words. It's called elision.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.