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I am 99% sure Americans quite often flap the /d/ sound which comes right after /r/ in the phrases "Where did", "Where do", "Where don't" and "Where does" (I am talking about the initial /d/'s), and I always flap the /d/ in those phrases; but now I somehow couldn't be completely sure that Americans do that. Do Americans do that?

I know that when "did" follows a vowel, the first /d/ can be pronounced as a flap sound. For example in "Who did you go with". But it is wrong to flap it if you say "Yes, I did" since "did" is stressed there. So, I am asking if I can flap the first /d/ of "did" when I say "Where did" as well. Also I am asking about the other phrases I gave which start with "Where".

Example sentence:

"Where did she go?"

I would always flap the first /d/ of "did" in this sentence.

Another example:

"Where does she go?"

I also would always flap the /d/ in this sentence.

One more example:

"Where do you live?"

I would always flap the /d/ here as well.

And the final example:

"Where don't you want to go?"

I would flap it here too.

Update:

You can see what I mean by the "flap sound” in this YouTube video, or in this YouTube video, and at this ELL question (please look at Peter Shor's comments who is quite knowledgeable in this topic).

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    First of all, I don't honestly understand how this question is different from the other one (which you also asked). They seem like duplicates, but I'm not certain because both questions are also slightly unclear to me after taking all discussion into account. The other thing that was causing me confusion was that (in both questions) they are phrased in a "Do you agree?" sense. And, in both questions, the answer given has been "No." I was trying to then make sense of why those answers were unclear . . . Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 20:22
  • In this question you say, "You guys do that, right?" In the other question you ask, "Can I do this?" I take both to be asking for agreement from a native speaker about the statement. This question asks about flapping /d/s; the other question asks about flapping the first "d". Are those specifically different questions? Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 20:28
  • @JasonBassford In that question I asked about "didn't". And thanks to Peter Shor's answers, I learned that it was wrong to flap the first /d/ if it is a part of a stressed syllable. Here, my question doesn't have anything to do with "didn't". Peter Shor told me I could pronounce the first sounds in "did", "do", "does" and "don't" as a flap sound if they follow a vowel and if I don't need to stress them. But he didn't tell me if I can flap them after a word that ends with /r/ too Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 20:41
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    This is complicated by your examples, all of which contain words that will be reduced in connected speech. For example, in where do you live, it would depend on how carefully it's pronounced. If I contract do you by reducing do to its proclitic form /d/, then I have /djʊː/ and the yod-coalesced /dʒʊː/ in free variation, with a possibility of reducing /ʊː/ to /ə/.
    – user230
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 20:42
  • So—in general, you think that the first "d" in did might be pronounced differently than the first "d" in didn't? (Assuming it follows /r/ specifically?) Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 20:45

2 Answers 2

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Yes, at least I do (from US west coast, but I think it's the same elsewhere in the US). These phrases are a bit confusing because they're normally contracted as well. I would say flaps in:

Where'd he go? [ˌʍɛɹ ɾiː ˈgoʊ]

Where do you live? [ˌʍɛɹ ɾə jə ˈlɪv]

I wouldn't say flaps in:

Where'd she go? [ˌʍɛɹd ̚ ʃiː ˈgoʊ] (unreleased d instead)

Where's she go? (does contracted to 's)

Where don't you want to go? [ˌʍɛɹ ˈdõ̆n tʃə ˌwɑ̃ nə ˈgoʊ] (can't flap the onset of a stressed syllable)

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  • Thank you. Do you think it is wrong to say /weɹ ɾu ju/ instead of /weɹ ɾə ju/? Also, /don't/ is actually not a stressed word. You can check it on dictionaries. You must be familiar with flapping the /d/ in "I don't know". Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 22:03
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    @FireandIce Auxiliaries like don't aren't typically stressed, but it's not true that they're never stressed. In this case, the stress is added to emphasize the negative polarity of the clause; see e.g. The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language p.98 or look up "emphatic polarity".
    – user230
    Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 22:06
  • @snailboat I see. Thank you. I have a question for you: If you say /weɹ ɾu ju/ and /wɑɪ ɾu ju/ instead of /weɹ ɾə ju/ and /wɑɪ ɾə ju/, do they sound weird to you? I mean is it wrong if I make the /u/ sound instead of the schwa sound after the flap sound in the phrases "Where do you..." and "Why do you..."? Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 22:28
  • @Fire_and_Ice I don't think [ɾu] occurs. If it's stressed it would be [du], if unstressed and able to flap it would be [ɾə]. Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 23:13
  • @PaulDexter Does the fact that you pronounce it as /u/ mean that it has to be stressed? For example, when you say "voodoo", there is a /u/ sound after /d/, and despite that you make a flap sound there. Commented Jul 16, 2018 at 10:10
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No, I do not hear a flap sound in the contraction "where'd he go?" What I hear is distinct r and d sounds, but without the same pause that would occur between uncontracted "where" and "did." The problem with my answer is that even in the US there are regional and educational differences in pronunciation so my answer may not be broad enough. But I cannot recollect hearing "where'd" pronounced like German "vert" or Spanish "juer."

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  • Thank you, but I don't understand what you exactly mean. I didn't ask anything about Where'd. Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 16:59
  • I answered as I did because a clause like "Where did he go" contains nothing like a flap sound. There is an r sound, a pause, and a d sound. However, the phrase is often contracted to "Where'd he go." That does sound somewhat like a flap sound, but, at least among educated speakers in my region of the U.S., the r and d sounds are distinct, not conflated into a flap sound. Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 17:05
  • By the way, this may explain the downvotes. People simply did not get that you were talking about contractions and so found your question meaningless. I gave it an upvote because I thought I understood what you were really asking. Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 17:08
  • First "d" sounds in the unstressed words "did", "do", "does" and "don't" can be pronounced as a flap sound. (Maybe you don't do that, but many Americans do that often. Probably you do that too, but you don't notice it.) Look at this topic please: ELL question about flap sounds Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 17:15
  • Also, if /d/ or /t/ is between an /r/ and and a vowel, it can be flapped. Like in "party", "heard of", "order", "part of" etc. Commented Jul 15, 2018 at 17:45

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