Are there any words in Chinese of 2 more syllables where there isn't a glottal stop between the syllables such that each syllable is not pronounced clearly, that a final consonant and initial consonant could be analyzed as a consonant cluster? I'm asking this question mostly in reference to Chinese languages descended from Middle Chinese, but wouldn't mind knowing about Min Chinese, or Chinese languages that diverged even earlier, like Waxiang.
I think this question should be "Are there any multi-syllabic words in Chinese with a glottal stop?"
In common speech, (almost) no words have an actual glottal stop in there, whereas the sound is the one identified by the IPA symbol
/ʔ/ and defined as:
a type of consonantal sound [...] produced by obstructing airflow in the vocal tract [...].
Typical poly-syllable words aren't pronounced with such an airflow obstruction, because the sounds are distinct enough. This is the case of encounters of:
- vowel+consonant (肌肉，主张)
- consonant+consonant (晚饭，面条)
- vowel or velar nasal (the ng sound /ŋ/) + semivowel (the approximants
/w/), as in (储物，掌握), where, even if the sounds do blend to a certain degree, they are still distinct enough.
The only case where you do have an almost mandatory glottal stop
/ʔ/ in speech is nasal (
/n/) + vowel. Why? Because syllables with nasal initial in Mandarin are valid:
In these cases the glottal stop is needed to properly signal to the listener which syllable we are pronouncing. This is also the reason why in pinyin it is used an apex (apostrophe) sign.
For example 晚安 in pinyin is
wan'an and in IPA
/wanʔan/, otherwise you could simply confuse it with
wa+nan. That there's no common word with this very pinyin is irrelevant. Other fairly common examples are 感恩
/kanʔen/) and 深奥
The vowel+vowel case (对岸，马鞍, 骄傲) doesn't require mandatory glottal stop (even though you definitely can add one) because the encounter of vowels can't be mistaken for a valid syllable, where nasal+vowel can.
Theoretically, no; colloquially, yes.
Glottal stop appears before a syllable "without consonant", like 棉袄 (mián'ǎo, [mjɛnʔau], "cotton coat"). This applies to all such syllables. However, in daily spoken language, emphasis on glottal stops is quite unnatural, so a possible implementation may be [mjɛ̃ːau].