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Dutchess_III's avatar

Why do some adults (mainly young adults I think) say some words like a three year old?

Asked by Dutchess_III (27184 points ) June 28th, 2012

Nineteen year old kid on Judge Judy just said, ”....and then my dog was bih’en (bitten.)” I’ve heard others do that. It isn’t a dialect, as far as I know. Just a personal bad habit. What is up with it? Why would anyone even start doing that?

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14 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

In the example that was heard on Judge Judy, without hearing the actual phrase spoken by the person, I would venture a guess that it is dialect. It would also be helpful to know the person’s background. This would include where they grew up, where they went to school, and who raised them.

thorninmud's avatar

It’s a western New England thing. A very well-spoken coworker (40-ish) from RI does this.

From this article : “Some speakers of the Western New England dialect—especially those from the region surrounding the major cities of Springfield, Massachusetts and Hartford, Connecticut, along the Connecticut River—replace “t” with a glottal stop and replace ”-ing” with “in’”. This would mean that those who do such would pronounce (for example) “sitting” as “sih-in’”, New Britain as “New Bri-in”, and Clinton as “Cli-in,” etc. T-glotallizing is found in other parts of the country as well, to varying degrees; however, it is prevalent in Southwestern New England.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@thorninmud Really! I did not know that. I mean, I don’t pronounce my T’s. I’ll say “didn’t” so it comes out more like “dihen,” but I don’t stop it in the middle. Stopping it in the middle sounds like a two year old talking.

jordym84's avatar

@thorninmud is right. I lived in RI for 4 years and still go back to visit my family and that’s how most people there talk.

LittleLemon's avatar

Which episode was this? I have a secret love for Judge Judy.

woodcutter's avatar

Some leave out the “th” in their English. Like :Smoove (smooth), wiv (with), girf (girth), etc. As long as they are understood it works.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Another thought…the person might have a speech impediment.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer If so, it wasn’t apparent in any part of the rest of their speech.

@woodcutter Perhaps we need to bring “enunciation” back into the curriculum so we don’t all sound like a bunch of challanged 2 year olds as we’re trying to address the court.

morphail's avatar

It’s called T-glottalization and it’s also found in some UK dialects.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@morphail That is very interesting. I’ve never heard the term before. Apparently, T-Glottalization isn’t limited to the UK, but also ‘somewhat common’ in the US.

PhiNotPi's avatar

The speech described in the question actually an accent. An accent is a regional variation in the way that a word is pronounced. That you perceive it to sound like a two year old is due only to your opinion of how the word should be pronounced (your personal accent).

(As a side note, a dialect is a regional change in the actual vocabulary)

Sometime even I fall victim to the removal of the t sound. I am not certain that it falls under the category of t-glottalization though, maybe someone here could answer that question. I visited some relatives in another part of the US a few days ago, and they have complained about me saying “innernet”, not pronouncing the first t in internet. I pronounce “didn’t” fine, as in “did int”.

I have complained (mentally) about their consistent use of double negatives (I didn’t see no…).

woodcutter's avatar

@Dutchess_III LOL-Judge Judy….Not court, It’s entertainment not unlike Jerry Springer. Even though the decisions are legally binding ,the kinds of cases she ,as well as Joe Brown, etc hear are a godsend to the real courts of law where hopefully more intelligent players go to be heard…but it’s no guarantee.

linguaphile's avatar

Way off the point, I know but… I love reading conversations like this because… It immediately makes me think about all the people out there that think all of those absences and additions of sounds can be magically lip-read by Deaf people. Eh… decades of speech therapy do not make up for things like regional variations.

I enjoy this information—I observe and learn.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@woodcutter I know what Judge Judy is and isn’t. But thank you.

I like seeing Bert in action! “Shuddup!!” :)

The other day there were two girls, and one had accused the other of stealing her iPhone (which she had.) The Defendant had a really bad attitude over all. JJ had to tell her three times that the answer is “Yes,” not a muttered “Yeah.” The Plaintiff played a tape of the D threatening to kill her (the P’s) grandmother. The D was just a bad, bad girl. Well, when it was over they started to leave, Bert came up behind the P and snapped, “Stay here!” and followed the D out. I’d never seen him do that before, but it was easily obvious that the D would more than likely start something physical with the P in the hallway. But I bet she changed her mind! I would NOT want Bert following me out of the courtroom!

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