Eebster the Great wrote:That's not true at all. For example, in Chinese, [t] and [th] are distinct sounds, while [t] and [d] are not. So they won't hear the difference between "batter" and "badder" as they are usually pronounced in English. This is why "Dao" is often spelled as such even though it uses a [t] sound.
Forgive me - in this context I meant native English-speakers outside the US, because this started with KernowDragon's perception of American English flapping (which you failed to identify as flapping). I'm well aware that aspiration distinctions exist, or existed, in Hindi, Mandarin, Icelandic, Sanskrit, Korean, Classical Greek and a host of other languages.
It depends on what part of Britain you are talking about. In some parts, the [t] is flapped. In some others, it is aspirated. In some, it is barely pronounced at all.
Again, I'm aware that there's a great deal of regional variation in Britain. But the standard British pronunciation is an unaspirated [t], just as the standard pronunciation of "happy", on both sides of the Atlantic, uses an unaspirated [p]. It's rare, in most English dialects, to find an aspirated plosive not at the beginning of a stressed syllable.
I don't understand why you are generalizing like this.
Because you failed to correctly identify the thing that KernowDragon was talking about, which is flapping. What you should have said is that the /t/ in American English "better" is rarely a true [d], but is usually an alveolar flap [ɾ]. As I said above, the fact that this flap is unaspirated is trivial; the salient thing here is that it's not even a plosive. A British-style [t] might occur here sometimes in American English, but it's rare, and mostly an affectation.