when the question "What did you do last night?" is pronounced, do Americans tend to drop the "t" in the word "last" or is it just a glottal stop? I'm looking for feedback from native speakers. Thank you!
The t is often elided due to the n. I use an alveolar stop to close out the s, and use that contact for the n, and release it for the i. I feel that's somewhat distinguishable from "lass night", as I use a velar stop to end the s instead.
These stops aren't plosives, they just block the airflow and are released without a puff. And also, this is with clear enunciation. I will note that I don't always elide the plosive t in "last night", but I seem to usually do so. And that "lass night" has a bit of a race between the velar and alveolar stops.
I'm an American, I've lived primarily in New York, Ohio, and Michigan, fairly briefly in Missouri and Pennsylvania. Without conducting a careful study, I think almost everyone I've spoken to pronounces it "last nite", i.e. they do pronounce both "t"s, but the "t" in "last" tends to be less clearly enunciated than the "t" in night. (It's hard to describe such subtleties of pronunciation, probably would be better to record it and upload, but I'm not that ambitious this morning.)
Yes, the t in night is pronounced in standard American English. Having lived in several parts of the country, my experience is that pronunciation differences of this phrase are regional or cultural.