Well, the question is pretty much self explanatory, but i thought i might give you guys some background.

I was looking for the phonetic spellings of some some words, and i found three different forms of pronouncing the t. 't, as in terror, t as in tail, and ,t as in pterodactyl.

Can anyone explain me what is the difference between them?


I think I pronounce all 3 the same way.



The /t/ is pronounced in the same way in each of the words. In phonetic transcription, using IPA symbols, ' before a syllable indicates that that syllable bears the primary stress in a word, ˌ that it bears the secondary stress, if there is one. These symbols are not needed in words with only one syllable.

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Joaozinthree different forms of pronouncing the t

IPA [t] and [tʰ]

With a very narrow transcription you can show an aspirated t [tʰ] and a non-aspirated t [t]. "pterodactyl" contains both as I pronounce it: [ˈtʰɛɹəˌdæktəl].

IPA [ɾ]

A third t is the American "tapped" t [ɾ] as in "potato": [pəˈtʰeɪɾoʊ]. (It's also called a flapped t, a tapped r, and a flapped r.)

IPA [t̚]

There is also a way of transcribing an unreleased t as in "cat": [kæt̚]

I have no idea how the three symbols you presented correspond to the IPA symbols I've used above.


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