Are there British English native speakers who glottalise their "t"s in the following words?

Into, its, after, still, student

The first case seems strange to me probably because "into" is like "in + to" and when a "t" starts a word, it never gets glottalised?

The "its" case seems strange to me, but I'm not sure why. Maybe because "ts" is pronounced like a single sound?

The last three seem like a rule: "ft", "st", "nt" never give in to glottalisation. But I made this rule up, I didn't find any rule like this online.

  • 3
    There are no legal restrictions on how people pronounce British English. Having said that, I don't think anybody glottalises their /t/ after a fricative (-ft-, st-), but yes, some people do after a liquid ('-nt'). I don't think the final /t/ of "student" is glottalised - it may be unreleased, which isn't the same thing. But the /t/ of "into" certainly can be glottalised in some accents, though I wouldn't myself.
    – Colin Fine
    Jun 16, 2022 at 15:06
  • 1
    @ColinFine: Would it be fair to say that most glottal stop usages occur because it's "easier" to move the back of the tongue slightly up rather than push the tip of the tongue all the way forward to the dental palate? I use glottal stops a lot, but I can't easily imagine myself using one in into unless my speech was somehow being restricted by external factors. If I couldn't be bothered to fully articulate into, I think I'd just say inner, rather than make all the complicated moves required to produce inʔə. Jun 16, 2022 at 15:20
  • 1
    (The tongue being already pushed up and forward in into because of the n, making it easy to continue with t, but much more awkward to go straight from that to a glottal stop.) Jun 16, 2022 at 15:23
  • 1
    Native Yorkshire, into & student are definitely candidates for a glottal stop [as is glottal itself;) the others wouldn't be. The way this is easier for into is that you don't separate the tongue move only at the front, you lift the entire tongue, making it just as easy to complete the rear closing as to push forward to make a t. I'd take a guess that even a native would split this 50/50 without knowing why. We don't do it all the time, but we do do it. [I'd never say inner at all. This is probably a regional variation, idk where @FumbleFingers accent originates] Jun 18, 2022 at 7:16
  • 1
    @gonefishin'again: I have a bit of a reputation for my accent changing noticeably if I just spend an evening down the pub with someone from a different region! Curiously, though, my father - who only died a few years ago in his mid-90s - steadfastly retained his broad Lancashire accent for 70 years. He was demobbed darn sarf, met & married my mother in Sussex, and had only a few brief visits back to his original homeland, but his accent never noticeably shifted. Jun 18, 2022 at 16:57


You must log in to answer this question.

Browse other questions tagged .