Hi there, everybody

I was wondering about how do native speakers REALLY pronounce their Ds. I tried unsuccessfully to find material about this on the web.

I think I hear a slight aspiration, more like a brief S if you will, after initial-Ds, as in the word "deem" or "dean", but maybe less in words like "dough". Is it really so or am I mis-hearing it? I hear it like "DsEEM" and "DsEAN", those Ss being pronounced really quick. They seem like a slighter aspiration as compared to the initial-T aspiration.

If there be here a kind native speaker soul who'd like to record an mp3 or something to help me out, I'd be very glad if they could speak the following words: deem, dean, dough, dab, deb, dob, doob, doodle, day.

By the way, just so you know my listening level, I can hear pretty much everything they say on TV, whether it's a series or documentary or news. I think the constant improvement of one's vocabulary helps much with listening, as there will be progressively fewer words which you cannot recognize.

English /d/ and /t/ are pronounced at the alveolar ridge, the area just behind the teeth. /d/ does sound a bit different depending on the following vowel, because the tongue is positioned slightly forward or back depending on the vowel.

I don't think it is a difference that many speakers actively notice. If you can't replicate it, you will still be understood.

It is also possible that there is a short aspiration for some speakers, much shorter than with /t/.
/d/ does have some variations, because the tongue is positioned slightly forward or slightly back depending on what the following vowel is.

It is not a difference that most speakers actively notice. If you don't replicate it you will still be understood.

It is possible that /d/ has a short aspiration for some speakers, much shorter than /t/.
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Oh, alveolar ridge, I didn't know that. Well that helps a lot, thanks. Emotion: smile
I can replicate it; actually I can replicate many different Ds, that's why I suddenly started to wonder if I'm hearing the Ds right.
Now let me ask you this: the English D is the voiced alveolar plosive sound - but is it apical (tip of the tongue on alveolar ridge) or laminal (blade of the tongue on alveolar ridge)?
I can do both, but I'd like to know better. Maybe it be apical for some vowels but laminal for others.
It seems to me that apical D has less aspiration than laminal D. Apical D seems to be closer to a dental D. And laminal D has a separate IPA symbol but I have never seen it being used in English words transcriptions. Then again, I've rarely seen the superscript H after p, t, k.
I wish these transcriptions were more exact.

Also, if that doesn't help, I'll provide an audiofile pronouncing the different Ds and then you tell me what is the one that English uses.
English /d/ is apico-alveolar.

Word initially it is often not voiced - there is a very short voice onset time. In North American English, between vowels and word finally it can sound the same as /t/ - sometimes it is the vowel length that gives away whether it is a /d/ or /t/. Vowels proceeding /d/ are longer than vowels proceeding /t/.

I'm afraid even if I heard you pronounce different Ds I wouldn't be able to tell for sure which one was the English one! I don't have that kind of training.
I'm sorry for taking so long to answer your reply.
Thanks for your help, apico-alveolar leaves no doubt to me.
Thanks again.
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