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YAEPT/USAGE Re: NATLANG: Interdental /l/ - in ENGLISH

From:David Peterson <thatbluecat@...>
Date:Monday, June 21, 2004, 4:57
Roger wrote:

<<I'd have to see it
to believe it.  It seems very awkward to produce, esp. in the cited phrase
"law school" which surely calls for the velarized [l] in most dialects!!>>

It can still be velarized--I'm doin' it right now.   ;)   Just get your velum 
Don't move your tongue up to your velum--lower your velum to your tongue.
Make it work!

This, however, sounds utterly (and I don't use that word often) impossible:

(from the original post from th Linguist List)
<<Nick Pharris,
originally from Northern California, now of the University of Michigan
reported having an interdental pharyngealised syllabic /l/ in words
where an alveolar precedes the /l/ like in 'funnel' and 'huddle'.>>

I mean, it would have to be literally, physically impossible unless both the
flap and the nasal were also interdental.   Otherwise, how could you get your
tongue from your alveolar ridge to suddenly in between your teeth with
no sound intervening?

Barbara wrote:

<<I'm aquainted with interdental /l/ (and interdental /T/) from two sourches;>
I don't think it's as uncommon as you pointed out. I'd like to sugges that English actually has a constrast between a voiced alveolar stop and a voiced interdental stop. This is based on the fact that many speakers have lost the fricativeness of [D], especially in "the". However, it's not "da", like so many gangsters are portrayed as producing, but a truly interdental [d], which is why it doesn't sound strange. As for me, I think I have total free variation between three types of /l/'s: (1) The "normal" /l/ (velarized, tongue at the alveolar ridge) (2) Interdental /l/ (3) Velar (?) /l/ The third of these sees the tip of my tongue touching the gum behind my *bottom* teeth. At the most, my tongue *body* makes a movement towards my alveolar ridge, and not the tip. As for the likelihood of (2), my first idea was when you make that "kissy-kissy" voice (how else to explain it...?). For example, imagine a 16 year-old girl who has her first boyfriend, but who's trying to hide it from her parents. Her eight year-old sister, however, spies them holding hands, and says something like, "Oo-ooh! Jennifer's in *looooove*!", and then makes kissing noises (and then gets pounded by her older sister). That's where I thought interdental /l/ was most likely to appear (along with a longer vowel, and the vowel quality changing somehow. Oh! Becoming more central. Maybe an unrounded, close-mid, central vowel? Maybe even schwa?). How- ever, just speaking, reading things aloud, I noticed my tongue tip flitting about, as if it were trying to escape... So it could be more common, and just more noticeable in people like Britney Spears and Reese Weatherspoon, whose faces are gigantic on movie screens or being focused upon by cameras (or, we'd hope their faces, anyway). -David ******************************************************************* "sunly eleSkarez ygralleryf ydZZixelje je ox2mejze." "No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn." -Jim Morrison