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I will explain more about the null initial: French, for example, have vowel-initial syllable that take consonants from the preceding syllable. If there is no preceding syllable or when the preceding syllable end in a vowel, then a glottal stop will be inserted before vowel-initial syllable; the glottal stop would be an allophone of null-onset in this French since it only appear in certain context. In many Chinese languages like Cantonese, the initial glottal stop is phonemic and cannot be omitted; Chinese syllables that begin with a vowel letter in pinyin are always pronounced with an initial glottal stop regardless of the context. In Standard Mandarin, the glottal stop are in free variation with other unrelated phones (or sound) but an initial consonant is still obligatory. If I am right, then the initial glottal stop is also obligatory in some American dialects of English.

On 21 Sep, 2017, MorphemeAddict wrote:

> What is the real null initial which the European languages have that
pinyin/Chinese do not?

> stevo