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Eric Christopherson wrote:
> I speak Midwestern (Wisconsin) US English. I guess I should amend my
> statement; I meant they start with [?] when they stand alone or at the
> beginning of saying something (is that called a 'breath group?')

Ah, then I'm the same.  If I say "apple" by itself, there's a glottal
stop, /?&pl=/, in fact, it's very difficult _not_ to have a glottal stop
there, but if it's preceded by something, such as "the", it may or may
not have a glottal stop, most commonly, if "the" is stressed, so that
it's pronounced /Di/, then there's no glottal stop (/Di &pl=/), but when
unstressed, the glottal stop is common (/D@ ?&pl=/), I suspect that the
glottal stop there prevents an elision of the schwa, i.e. */D&pl=/.

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