American English Phonetics

Another American English Faculty Project

Like vowels, the GA approximants /l,r,j,w/ can follow syllable-initial /p,t,k/, so that the voice delay that occurs after the release of fortis stops may also affect a following approximant.
Examples would be pure and twin.

pure – /pjʊr/

twin – /twɪn/

The effect is particularly striking in the case of /tr/, which is usually pronounced as a completely voiceless affricate. In words like pure and twin, /j/ and /w/ tend to be partly devoiced: [pj̥ʊr, tw̥ɪn]. Note that the devoicing of /j/ in GA pure is paralleled by that of AN /j/ in the diminutive ending and the personal pronoun je, as in hapje, heb je, koekje.

hapje – /ˈhɑpjə/

The devoicing of approximants automatically leads to the generation of (voiceless) friction, as can easily be heard and felt when you slow down AN hapje to [ɦɑpçːːjə]. Exactly the same goes for devoiced GA /l,rj,w/.