Intervocalic consonant

In phonetics and phonology, an intervocalic consonant is a consonant that occurs between two vowels. Intervocalic consonants are often associated with lenition, a phonetic process that causes consonants to weaken and eventually disappear entirely. An example of such a change in English is intervocalic alveolar flapping, a process (especially in North American and Australian English) that, impressionistically speaking, replaces /t/ with /d/. For example, "metal" is pronounced [mɛɾl]; "batter" sounds like ['bæ.ɾɚ]. (More precisely, both /t/ and /d/ are pronounced as the alveolar tap [ɾ].) In North American English, the weakening is variable across word boundaries, such that the /t/ of "see you tomorrow" might be pronounced as either [ɾ] or [tʰ]. Some languages have intervocalic-weakening processes fully active word-internally and in connected discourse. For example, in Spanish, /d/ is regularly pronounced like [ð] in the words "todo" [ˈtoðo] (meaning "all") and "la duna [laˈðuna]", meaning "the dune" (but [ˈduna] if the word is pronounced alone).

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