I am a native English speaker from central England and about a year ago moved to the north east of England. I'm curious to know if any other languages use the distinctive combined glottal stop and consonant sound that is common here, and what the international phonetic symbol is (I've looked, but can't find it).

You hear it in words like "butter" and "paper", where the "er" part of the word starts with a glottal stop, but is sounded simultaneously with the the consonant at the end of the previous syllable. (That's not a very good explanation I know, but I hope you understand what I mean!). Its not like the glottal stop used in Cockney, south midlands and estuary English, where - in a word like "butter" - the "t" sound dosen't appear at all.

I'm not sure if any other languages use it, but you sometimes hear it used by Malay/Indonesian speakers when the speak English, so it may appear in Bahasa Indonesian. Possibly Arabic too.

Sorry to be lazy and give a web ref, LL; but have you come across this page? It may answer your questions:


Hi LL,
I am a native Indonesian speaker, and I don't think the glottal stop is used in either Indonesian or Malay. The /t/ sound that you hear is most probably the unaspiratead /t/ I'd say. You can almost always hear this sound when Indonesian/Malay speakers speak English as the sound /t/ in Indonesian and Malay is pronounced unaspirated.
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there's a glottal stop in words like tidak and becak, at the very end. Also in between two of the same vowels, like maaf or manfaat. i dunno if that's it, though
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