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Tristan wrote:
> Actually, if I'm not mistaken, and I quite possibly am, English /t/ and
> /d/ often surface as [t_h] and [d] or [t], and in the situations where
> /t/ would be [t_h], an English speaker may well hear [t] as /d/. Err...
> so that 'small breath' is actually relevant to English speakers too,
> sometimes moreso then whether there's breath or not.

This is true.  If you say [tIn], most Anglophones will hear that as
"din", not "tin".

However, [t] and [d] do contrast syllable-finally, as in [lIt] vs.
[lI:d], altho, to be fair, there's also lengthening involved, and most
Anglophones would probably hear [lI:t] as "lid" or [lId] as "lit".

In one future English project of mine, I had s-consonant clusters lose
the /s/, creating a phonemic distinction between unaspirated and
aspirated stops, so that, for example, where Modern English has only a
/k/-/g/ distinction, Future English had /k_h/-/k/-/g/ as in /k_hIl/
(kill), /kIl/ (skill), /gIl/ (gill).

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