In this video, around the 0:41 mark, the man speaking pronounces petites with the second t lost to a liaison. Is that a regional affectation, or did I just never know this? If this is standard, what is the rule that causes that to be silent?

4 Answers 4


The man actually pronounces the second t. Even though it is not as clear as the sounds from the beginning of the word, I distinctly hear it. If you play the video at half-speed, you can hear it being merged with the z sound of the s liaison, PETI-tZanimations.

In standard French, the t in that phrase is not silent.

  • 2
    Exactly, on the contrary in those cases the e is always muted.
    – Walfrat
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 7:46
  • @Walfrat You got me thinking : most of the time in casual conversation the e is muted but I'm not entirely sure it is a strict rule. I have a song in mind where it clearly is not muted : "Petite Marie by Francis Cabrel". Altough it might be an artistic decision.
    – Benoittr
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 21:57
  • @Benoittr: singing and poetry are a special case.
    – sumelic
    Commented Oct 6, 2017 at 22:16
  • 2
    The e would be pronounced by most speakers in contexts like « petite housse ».
    – GAM PUB
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 13:15

The second /t/ is not lost. It's there, but it merges with the following /s/ (which, itself, is voiced into a /z/ because of the intervocalic context). So in the end you have /pətitzanimasjɔ̃/.


With the e (or es as here) at the end, the t is pronounced, maybe not forcefully, but still there. as already stated, the liaison is more between the s and the following a, so the t sort of gets lost.


I did not watch the video.

It depends. In French, the masculine form of the word is petit (no e at the end). In this case, if the word after "petit" starts with vowel, the "t" would be pronounced (i.e. un petit arbre). If the word after "petit" begins with a consonant, the "t" would be silent (i.e. un petit gateau).

The feminie version (petite) does not have this peculiarity, since there is always a vowel (petite) after it.

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