Hi, I’m Julie with San Diego Voice and Accent, and in this video you’ll learn about the difference between nasal plosion and the glottal stop.
This video is a request from Hibbert, one of my subscribers who asked for help with pronouncing the words eden and eaten.
Yes, those words do sound alike! But one has nasal plosion, and one has a glottal stop. What a great video idea! Thanks Hibbert!
Let me quickly review both nasal plosion and the glottal stop, and if you need additional practice with these concepts, I recommend you watch my earlier videos of both of them.
Nasal plosion is a unique sound that native speakers sometimes use in words that have a final unstressed D + N combination, like in the word:
Instead of saying “din” in the final syllable,
native speakers may use an unreleased D, omit the vowel, and then move from the unreleased D to a syllabic N consonant.
You should feel a small burst of air come out of the nose as you say the nasal plosion - hence the name, nasal plosion.
Glottal stop /ʔ/
A glottal stop, on the other hand, is made with the vocal cords. It’s this sound here -
ah, ah, ah, ah, ah.
Not the voiced part, but the part between the voiced parts.
The vocal cords come together to stop the airflow - hence the name, glottal stop - it’s a stop of the airflow. The tongue does not participate in the glottal stop - it’s just the vocal cords.
In American English, the glottal stop can sometimes take the place of a T consonant. This happens often in words that have a final unstressed T + N combination, like in the word:
Instead of saying “tin” in the final syllable,
native speakers usually use a glottal stop (also called a Stop T), omit the vowel, and then move from the glottal stop to a syllabic N consonant.
Nasal plosion and glottal stop: Word practice
So let’s jump right into the practice. I’m going to say two words, and they will be minimal pairs, which means they will differ by one sound only. One will have nasal plosion, and the other will have a glottal stop. I’m going to say the words back to back, three times in a row, and then you’ll have a chance to repeat. Both words will have very similar mouth positions, so you’ll need to listen closely to hear the difference
Nasal plosion and glottal stop: Sentence practice
Now I’ll use the same words in a sentence. I’ll say each sentence three times, and then you’ll have a chance to repeat.
Her name is Eden.
Her name is Eaten.
It was sudden - it happened so fast.
It was Sutton - it happened so fast.
The truth was hidden from me.
The truth was hittin’ me in the face.
You want to widen your house?
You want to whiten your house?
That was a huge burden.
His name is Tim Burton.
I hope this video helped you with your pronunciation of nasal plosion versus the glottal stop. Thanks for watching! And I'd love to hear from you - contact me to learn how we can work together to perfect your American English pronunciation!