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laterals & rhotics (was: Re: Re: laterals (was: Pharingials, /l/ vs. /r/ in Southeast Asia)

From:And Rosta <a.rosta@...>
Date:Saturday, February 14, 2004, 15:34
[2 replies in one, in case I'm at the message limit...]

Eddy Ohlms:
> /H/ sounds rhotic to me.
In some accents of England, the rule for the realization of /r/ is "use any approximant that is not already in use for something else". That rules out [j], [w] and laterals, but leaves the labial-palatal approximant ([H]), the velar approximant and the labiodental approximant (the first two often being misdescribed as the last). (Other realizations of /r/ in England include alveolar tap, alveolar trill, uvular trill or fricative, and bilabial trill.) There's a sense, then, in which /r/ is specified as nothing more than an approximant (or even as nothing, period). Arguably this is why it is used for liaison in nonrhotic accents when two vowels would otherwise be in hiatus: it is simply the way that a phonological zero is pronounced in consonant position when it must be. (Schwa would be the pronunciation of zero in vowel position.) Looking at the class of rhotics crosslinguistically, one does have a sense that rhotics are simply the residue left when all other classes (nasals, laterals, fricatives, stops) are taken away. Roger:
> And Rosta wrote: > > > I try not to read English pronunciation threads, because when I do, > > I can seldom keep myself from participating... > > Agreed! :-) > > > lj, though, is a different story. As far as I can tell, it is > > just disappearing over time, so that hardly anybody nowadays > > would say /slju:/ for 'slew' (the noun, not the verb), while no > > young person is likely to say 'lure' with a /lj/ > > How about "lewd" and "lurid"?? I had a friend at school who'd > spent several years in British schools-- he got a terrible ribbing > over here for saying [ljud], [ljUrId]
These unsystematically pattern with 'lure', i.e. their incidence in a group of speakers diminishes with the group's average age. Unsystematically, because some intermediate speakers will have lj in the one word but not in the other. (I myself have lj in lure & lurid but vacillate between the two versions of lewd.) --And.