TaylorS wrote:In informal spoken English, at least around here, it's very common to reduce the preposition "to" into [tʰ] before consonants and [tʰɰ] before vowels.
Heh - that is the opposite of the English that I am used to*, where to
normally reduces to just** [ə(ː)] unless after another obstruent, where the typical fate of laminal
*** /t/ in such an environment also applies, after /n/, where it typically additionally either geminates the /n/ or turns it to a nasal flap and also makes it laminal***, or initially, where it reduces to [t̻ʰə(ː)]. However, the reduction of the vowel in to
is not obligatory for me, and even in informal speech I will often leave it unreduced as [u(ː)].
* I am not speaking of just my own dialect of English, even though this is what I specifically describe here, but rather I am saying that I am used to very similar phenomena in at least pretty much all the English dialects that I have had contact with between southeastern Wisconsin and upstate New York. Likewise, I have heard similar phenomena in other more General American-like varieties in the northern US, even though I am not as familiar with these varieties personally and thus cannot describe them in as much detail or with as much certainty.
** However, preceding morphemes in at least my own dialect that have vowel length variation depending on what follows them take short
rather than long vowels, as if the /t/ were still there.
*** Vowel reduction for me does not mean that coronal lose their apicalness/laminalness as had been conditioned by the vowels in question; hence one can consider [ə(ː)] from historical /uː/ or /ʊ/ to still be distinguished from [ə(ː)] from other sources when such follows a coronal.