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Author Topic: Velarization of /l/  (Read 1567 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 16, 2012, 09:24:47 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 09:24:59 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2012, 09:29:23 PM »

Oh goodness, I'm sorry--I left out the Fr. for Fr. Bulgakov. Well, Fr. Tom did not refer to him as Fr., haha. If you're asking how he called Fr. Bulgakov and Solovyov, he just called them both by their last names.

Michal, you are scaring me--I spent five years learning Russian and the sounds were taught to me as being the same and sound the same in my Russian and English. Maybe it is a Belarus/Poland thing? I know that the "l" sound was always quite troublesome for the Polish students in my courses in St. Petersburg and immediately identified them as Poles.
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2012, 09:43:49 PM »

Michal, you are scaring me--I spent five years learning Russian and the sounds were taught to me as being the same and sound the same in my Russian and English. Maybe it is a Belarus/Poland thing? I know that the "l" sound was always quite troublesome for the Polish students in my courses in St. Petersburg and immediately identified them as Poles.

It's pronounced in two way depending on what letters come after it. However in most cases (like in the word in the title) it's not pronounced like English "l" but more similar to English "w"- "ɫ". And that's the sound Poles have problem it (they pronounced it as "w"). However it's not "l".
« Last Edit: November 16, 2012, 09:44:11 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2012, 03:03:39 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
It is in American English, and elsewhere:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velarized_alveolar_lateral_approximant#Occurrence
« Last Edit: November 17, 2012, 03:04:46 PM by ialmisry » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2012, 03:08:58 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
It is in American English, and elsewhere:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velarized_alveolar_lateral_approximant#Occurrence

You need to teach 1st grade in Las Vegas. Evidently this is the approach they are taking to teaching kids how to speak.
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« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2012, 03:50:12 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
It is in American English, and elsewhere:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velarized_alveolar_lateral_approximant#Occurrence

Never heard that. It's [pʰiːl] to me. Do you have some audios I can hear it?
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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2012, 04:17:34 PM »

Velarization of /l/ is common in many varieties of English. Not all dialects have it, but it is common enough that I'm a little surprised that you would insist that it is not present, Michal. Are you surrounded by Irish English speakers?
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« Reply #7 on: November 18, 2012, 04:26:38 PM »

Velarization of /l/ is common in many varieties of English. Not all dialects have it, but it is common enough that I'm a little surprised that you would insist that it is not present, Michal. Are you surrounded by Irish English speakers?

I've never heard it in English. In Belarusia and Russian only (and in old Polish movies or recordings).
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 04:27:08 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: November 18, 2012, 04:37:53 PM »

Velarization of /l/ is common in many varieties of English. Not all dialects have it, but it is common enough that I'm a little surprised that you would insist that it is not present, Michal. Are you surrounded by Irish English speakers?

I've never heard it in English. In Belarusia and Russian only (and in old Polish movies or recordings).

It's there. I certainly use it.

I think some people are better at hearing phonemes regardless of their context than others.

I am terrible at it. I knew someone who could do an amazing job of pronouncing languages he hadn't even heard because of his study of how to produce phonemes. Give him the phonemes and he could do it. It was weird.

If you believe wikipedia:

Quote
Many dialects have two allophones of /l/ – the "clear" L and the "dark" or velarized L. The clear variant is used before vowels (or sometimes only before stressed vowels), the dark variant in other positions. In some dialects, /l/ may be always clear (e.g. Wales, Ireland, the Caribbean) or always dark (e.g. Scotland, most of North America, Australia, New Zealand).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_phonology#Allophones_of_consonants
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« Reply #9 on: November 18, 2012, 04:44:27 PM »

Velarization of /l/ is common in many varieties of English. Not all dialects have it, but it is common enough that I'm a little surprised that you would insist that it is not present, Michal. Are you surrounded by Irish English speakers?

I've never heard it in English. In Belarusia and Russian only (and in old Polish movies or recordings).

It's there. I certainly use it.

I think some people are better at hearing phonemes regardless of their context than others.

I am terrible at it. I knew someone who could do an amazing job of pronouncing languages he hadn't even heard because of his study of how to produce phonemes. Give him the phonemes and he could do it. It was weird.

If you believe wikipedia:

Quote
Many dialects have two allophones of /l/ – the "clear" L and the "dark" or velarized L. The clear variant is used before vowels (or sometimes only before stressed vowels), the dark variant in other positions. In some dialects, /l/ may be always clear (e.g. Wales, Ireland, the Caribbean) or always dark (e.g. Scotland, most of North America, Australia, New Zealand).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_phonology#Allophones_of_consonants

Speak some English and "feel" if you are velarizing your Ls.

I had terrible speech impediments as a kid and thankfully I a great speech therapist who helped me feel how to speak differently than merely try to mimic sounds I was not  making.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 04:44:59 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2012, 04:44:48 PM »

Velarization of /l/ is common in many varieties of English. Not all dialects have it, but it is common enough that I'm a little surprised that you would insist that it is not present, Michal. Are you surrounded by Irish English speakers?

I've never heard it in English. In Belarusia and Russian only (and in old Polish movies or recordings).

Ah, I see. Maybe you are hearing the contrast in Russian that exists between velarized l (which, as far as I can tell, is the typical/standard pronunciation; it's certainly how we were taught to pronounce it in Russian classes, with a Muscovite professor) and palatalized l? Because in that case, the velarized realization forms one half of a contrast, whereas in English there is no such contrast between velarized and non-velarized l, as far as I know. They are harmless (to intelligibility) allophones. So perhaps you are listening for something that does not exist, and hence concluding that English does not have velarized l?

Just an idea.
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« Reply #11 on: November 18, 2012, 04:47:21 PM »

Because in that case, the velarized realization forms one half of a contrast, whereas in English there is no such contrast between velarized and non-velarized l, as far as I know. They are harmless (to intelligibility) allophones.

Is there any way you can make more clear to non-expert what you mean here, especially with the bolded part.

EDIT: OK, I think I misread what you wrote (consonant for contrast), but it would nice for a little more explanation, unless it is exceptionally tedious to do so.
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« Reply #12 on: November 18, 2012, 04:52:15 PM »

In the world of multimedia, we are using text to try to discuss how something sounds.

Perhaps for the polyglot linguists here that is not a problem.

I find it humorous however, helpful nonetheless.
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2012, 04:55:28 PM »

Velarization of /l/ is common in many varieties of English. Not all dialects have it, but it is common enough that I'm a little surprised that you would insist that it is not present, Michal. Are you surrounded by Irish English speakers?

I've never heard it in English. In Belarusia and Russian only (and in old Polish movies or recordings).

It's there. I certainly use it.

I think some people are better at hearing phonemes regardless of their context than others.

I am terrible at it. I knew someone who could do an amazing job of pronouncing languages he hadn't even heard because of his study of how to produce phonemes. Give him the phonemes and he could do it. It was weird.

I can always distinguish /l/, /ɫ/, and /w/ in Slavic languages (however I cannot pronounce /ɫ/).

Maybe you are hearing the contrast in Russian that exists between velarized l (which, as far as I can tell, is the typical/standard pronunciation; it's certainly how we were taught to pronounce it in Russian classes, with a Muscovite professor) and palatalized l?

You don't?  Shocked After a second I realised I should not be surprised. English have also some sounds which you consider to be different and we do not.

I also thought the "palatalized" (I knew what that word means  Cool) pronunciation was the standard one (I mean standard for those funny phonetic symbols) however it's less used in Russia for the letter л.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 04:56:36 PM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2012, 06:27:43 PM »

Maybe you are hearing the contrast in Russian that exists between velarized l (which, as far as I can tell, is the typical/standard pronunciation; it's certainly how we were taught to pronounce it in Russian classes, with a Muscovite professor) and palatalized l?

You don't?  Shocked After a second I realised I should not be surprised. English have also some sounds which you consider to be different and we do not.

Yes, I hear the palatal/non-palatal (velarized) distinction in Russian. It's kind of hard not to, after 6-7 years of study. My point was that the distinction in Russian is between velarized (the "normal" Russian L) and palatalized (ль/lj), whereas there is no such distinction in English, so you are primed for hearing it in one and not the other, since the other half of the distinction that you're used to hearing is missing in English. It's just a guess, but experiments that I have done, e.g., contrasting perception of x (I can't put that in brackets as I would without messing up the html of this post and creating a bullet point, but that's meant to be a voiceless velar fricative) and [h] by native English speakers exposed to Egyptian Arabic speech samples, seems to suggest that such things are possible. In that experiment, sounds that are not normally contrastive in English (x and [h]) suddenly became very salient to the participants in the (sociological/impressionistic) environment of "guy with a funny accent", and suddenly the respondents were marking x's all over the place, at a much higher rate than they actually appeared in the stimuli. In other words, they were primed to hear a contrast where there wasn't one. So I have to assume, based on that, that the opposite is also possible: If you do not hear in English the kind of contrast you're used to hearing in Russian, you might mistakenly "under-count" the prevalence of the velarized L in the environment of "guy who cannot distinguish between 'regular' (velarized) consonant and non-velarized (palatalized) consonant", because of course those sounds aren't contrastive in English. But that doesn't mean the variants, or at least one half of them (the velarized L) aren't produced as allophones of 'clear' L in particular environments.

Quote
I also thought the "palatalized" (I knew what that word means  Cool) pronunciation was the standard one (I mean standard for those funny phonetic symbols) however it's less used in Russia for the letter л.

It's been a while since I took a Russian class or spoke the language in a natural setting, but this is not my understanding. Perhaps I have them reversed? (It would not much matter, for the purposes of our discussion, because the point is that either way they are contrastive in Russian.)
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2012, 06:48:41 PM »

Because in that case, the velarized realization forms one half of a contrast, whereas in English there is no such contrast between velarized and non-velarized l, as far as I know. They are harmless (to intelligibility) allophones.

Is there any way you can make more clear to non-expert what you mean here, especially with the bolded part.

EDIT: OK, I think I misread what you wrote (consonant for contrast), but it would nice for a little more explanation, unless it is exceptionally tedious to do so.

Something is considered to be contrastive if it forms what we call a "minimal pair" -- two words that differ in only one speech segment, thereby proving that there is a meaningful contrast between the differing elements. Examples:

fish/dish (they do not mean the same thing, so the contrast between f and d is meaningful in English)
hot/hat (ditto o and a)
we/be (" " w/b)

etc. etc.

This is different than the sort of variation that we are talking about in this thread with respect to English, which is non-contrastive: whether you pronounce "peel" with the 'dark' (velarized) L or a 'clear' (non-velarized) L does not change its meaning. [pʰiːɫ] and [pʰiːl] are understood to be the same word by English speakers. Maybe a non-trained person could hear the difference, but it would just register as funny or non-standard in comparison to his own way of saying it (sort like how us rhotic Americans can make fun of Bostonians for being non-rhotic and saying things like "caa" in place of "car", but we still know what they're saying).

By contrast, a language like Russian makes a very real distinction between, for instance, palatalized and non-palatalized consonants, as we can see in minimal pairs like брать 'take' versus брат 'brother'. The soft sign at the end of the first word is a palatalization marker.

Other languages make other distinctions that we don't make in English (e.g., Arabic has a distinction between "emphatic"/pharyngealized consonants and non-emphatic ones), but we make distinctions that they don't make (e.g., the famous p vs. b voicing distinction; it is a stereotypical marker of non-native speech on the part of English-speaking Arabs to pronounce all p's as b's, since Arabic does not have the voiceless bilabial stop, so they'll say things like "beetsa" for "pizza" or "bebsi" for "Pepsi").
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2012, 07:41:30 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
It is in American English, and elsewhere:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velarized_alveolar_lateral_approximant#Occurrence

You need to teach 1st grade in Las Vegas. Evidently this is the approach they are taking to teaching kids how to speak.
correctly?
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2012, 07:42:13 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
It is in American English, and elsewhere:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velarized_alveolar_lateral_approximant#Occurrence

Never heard that. It's [pʰiːl] to me. Do you have some audios I can hear it?
"peel"?
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2012, 07:47:01 PM »

I don't understand all the linguistic/phonological symbols.

Is "dark L" that annoying W-like sound that is becoming increasingly more common in Australian English?

It makes me cringe every time I hear it.
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2012, 07:49:19 PM »

Maybe you are hearing the contrast in Russian that exists between velarized l (which, as far as I can tell, is the typical/standard pronunciation; it's certainly how we were taught to pronounce it in Russian classes, with a Muscovite professor) and palatalized l?

You don't?  Shocked After a second I realised I should not be surprised. English have also some sounds which you consider to be different and we do not.

Yes, I hear the palatal/non-palatal (velarized) distinction in Russian. It's kind of hard not to, after 6-7 years of study. My point was that the distinction in Russian is between velarized (the "normal" Russian L) and palatalized (ль/lj), whereas there is no such distinction in English, so you are primed for hearing it in one and not the other, since the other half of the distinction that you're used to hearing is missing in English. It's just a guess, but experiments that I have done, e.g., contrasting perception of x (I can't put that in brackets as I would without messing up the html of this post and creating a bullet point, but that's meant to be a voiceless velar fricative) and [h] by native English speakers exposed to Egyptian Arabic speech samples, seems to suggest that such things are possible. In that experiment, sounds that are not normally contrastive in English (x and [h]) suddenly became very salient to the participants in the (sociological/impressionistic) environment of "guy with a funny accent", and suddenly the respondents were marking x's all over the place, at a much higher rate than they actually appeared in the stimuli. In other words, they were primed to hear a contrast where there wasn't one. So I have to assume, based on that, that the opposite is also possible: If you do not hear in English the kind of contrast you're used to hearing in Russian, you might mistakenly "under-count" the prevalence of the velarized L in the environment of "guy who cannot distinguish between 'regular' (velarized) consonant and non-velarized (palatalized) consonant", because of course those sounds aren't contrastive in English. But that doesn't mean the variants, or at least one half of them (the velarized L) aren't produced as allophones of 'clear' L in particular environments.

Quote
I also thought the "palatalized" (I knew what that word means  Cool) pronunciation was the standard one (I mean standard for those funny phonetic symbols) however it's less used in Russia for the letter л.

It's been a while since I took a Russian class or spoke the language in a natural setting, but this is not my understanding. Perhaps I have them reversed? (It would not much matter, for the purposes of our discussion, because the point is that either way they are contrastive in Russian.)
Or Polish sz and ś; most English speakers cannot differentiate the two.
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2012, 08:37:05 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
It is in American English, and elsewhere:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velarized_alveolar_lateral_approximant#Occurrence

You need to teach 1st grade in Las Vegas. Evidently this is the approach they are taking to teaching kids how to speak.
correctly?

Looked at some curriculum for teaching children how to speak in the 1st grade. It was laughable.

IIRC, one of the goals was to successfully teach the child to say single syllable words made of two phonemes.
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2012, 08:43:59 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
It is in American English, and elsewhere:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velarized_alveolar_lateral_approximant#Occurrence

You need to teach 1st grade in Las Vegas. Evidently this is the approach they are taking to teaching kids how to speak.
correctly?

Looked at some curriculum for teaching children how to speak in the 1st grade. It was laughable.

IIRC, one of the goals was to successfully teach the child to say single syllable words made of two phonemes.
My deaf son could do far more before entering pre-school.
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2012, 08:45:01 PM »

I don't understand all the linguistic/phonological symbols.

Is "dark L" that annoying W-like sound that is becoming increasingly more common in Australian English?

It makes me cringe every time I hear it.

Really in American English and Australian from I remember hearing from Australians who do not attempt to affect RP, its is hard to find a truly "light L".

If it is truly a "w" sound, sounds like you are all learning how to speak how I did before speech therapy. Lazy Rs and Ls and a severe stutter. My Ls sounded like Ws.

Do you have a clip of what you are talking about?

 
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« Reply #23 on: November 18, 2012, 08:45:57 PM »

Why does Cyrillic "л" is transliterated into English Latin alphabet as "l"? The sounds are not even close.
It is in American English, and elsewhere:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Velarized_alveolar_lateral_approximant#Occurrence

You need to teach 1st grade in Las Vegas. Evidently this is the approach they are taking to teaching kids how to speak.
correctly?

Looked at some curriculum for teaching children how to speak in the 1st grade. It was laughable.

IIRC, one of the goals was to successfully teach the child to say single syllable words made of two phonemes.
My deaf son could do far more before entering pre-school.

Telling you I laughed till I cried. A lot of fancy jargon to make to the most remedial of skills seem difficult.
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« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2012, 08:46:45 PM »

Because in that case, the velarized realization forms one half of a contrast, whereas in English there is no such contrast between velarized and non-velarized l, as far as I know. They are harmless (to intelligibility) allophones.

Is there any way you can make more clear to non-expert what you mean here, especially with the bolded part.

EDIT: OK, I think I misread what you wrote (consonant for contrast), but it would nice for a little more explanation, unless it is exceptionally tedious to do so.

Something is considered to be contrastive if it forms what we call a "minimal pair" -- two words that differ in only one speech segment, thereby proving that there is a meaningful contrast between the differing elements. Examples:

fish/dish (they do not mean the same thing, so the contrast between f and d is meaningful in English)
hot/hat (ditto o and a)
we/be (" " w/b)

etc. etc.

This is different than the sort of variation that we are talking about in this thread with respect to English, which is non-contrastive: whether you pronounce "peel" with the 'dark' (velarized) L or a 'clear' (non-velarized) L does not change its meaning. [pʰiːɫ] and [pʰiːl] are understood to be the same word by English speakers. Maybe a non-trained person could hear the difference, but it would just register as funny or non-standard in comparison to his own way of saying it (sort like how us rhotic Americans can make fun of Bostonians for being non-rhotic and saying things like "caa" in place of "car", but we still know what they're saying).

By contrast, a language like Russian makes a very real distinction between, for instance, palatalized and non-palatalized consonants, as we can see in minimal pairs like брать 'take' versus брат 'brother'. The soft sign at the end of the first word is a palatalization marker.

Other languages make other distinctions that we don't make in English (e.g., Arabic has a distinction between "emphatic"/pharyngealized consonants and non-emphatic ones), but we make distinctions that they don't make (e.g., the famous p vs. b voicing distinction; it is a stereotypical marker of non-native speech on the part of English-speaking Arabs to pronounce all p's as b's, since Arabic does not have the voiceless bilabial stop, so they'll say things like "beetsa" for "pizza" or "bebsi" for "Pepsi").

Brilliant explanation. Thanks a bunch.
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« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2012, 08:57:41 PM »

Ah, I see. Maybe you are hearing the contrast in Russian that exists between velarized l (which, as far as I can tell, is the typical/standard pronunciation; it's certainly how we were taught to pronounce it in Russian classes, with a Muscovite professor) and palatalized l? Because in that case, the velarized realization forms one half of a contrast, whereas in English there is no such contrast between velarized and non-velarized l, as far as I know. They are harmless (to intelligibility) allophones. So perhaps you are listening for something that does not exist, and hence concluding that English does not have velarized l?

Just an idea.

In milk, the l is velarized. In lot, the l is neutral (I would not say palatalized). That is how I hear things. The Cyrillic л, when followed by a letter that does not indicate palatalization of the previous consonant, corresponds sometimes to the English l but not all the time.

Note: What I call velarized l is not the pronunciation of ł as [w].
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« Reply #26 on: November 18, 2012, 09:06:30 PM »

I don't understand all the linguistic/phonological symbols.

Is "dark L" that annoying W-like sound that is becoming increasingly more common in Australian English?

It makes me cringe every time I hear it.

Really in American English and Australian from I remember hearing from Australians who do not attempt to affect RP, its is hard to find a truly "light L".

If it is truly a "w" sound, sounds like you are all learning how to speak how I did before speech therapy. Lazy Rs and Ls and a severe stutter. My Ls sounded like Ws.

Do you have a clip of what you are talking about?

 

I bet I know what you talking about.

I skip the linguist jargon.

They like most of the world are learning to speak American, especially that of the Southern / Black English variety which is what I tend to speak in my everyday.

Take the word fool.

I best you finish that l with your tongue touching against where your teeth meets your palette.

I typically wouldn't.

So that slightly aspirated "la" doesn't happen at the end.

You certainly use a dark l but with finish at the end as described above. (The way you would start the word look.)

Just a theory. After listening to myself affect the various ways I use my Ls.

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« Reply #27 on: November 18, 2012, 09:07:46 PM »

Ah, I see. Maybe you are hearing the contrast in Russian that exists between velarized l (which, as far as I can tell, is the typical/standard pronunciation; it's certainly how we were taught to pronounce it in Russian classes, with a Muscovite professor) and palatalized l? Because in that case, the velarized realization forms one half of a contrast, whereas in English there is no such contrast between velarized and non-velarized l, as far as I know. They are harmless (to intelligibility) allophones. So perhaps you are listening for something that does not exist, and hence concluding that English does not have velarized l?

Just an idea.

In milk, the l is velarized. In lot, the l is neutral (I would not say palatalized). That is how I hear things. The Cyrillic л, when followed by a letter that does not indicate palatalization of the previous consonant, corresponds sometimes to the English l but not all the time.

Note: What I call velarized l is not the pronunciation of ł as [w].


I certainly velarize lot. Must must consciously try not to. And might do so if the word were not clearly understood.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2012, 09:09:40 PM by orthonorm » Logged

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« Reply #28 on: November 18, 2012, 09:15:49 PM »

I don't understand all the linguistic/phonological symbols.

Is "dark L" that annoying W-like sound that is becoming increasingly more common in Australian English?

It makes me cringe every time I hear it.

Really in American English and Australian from I remember hearing from Australians who do not attempt to affect RP, its is hard to find a truly "light L".

If it is truly a "w" sound, sounds like you are all learning how to speak how I did before speech therapy. Lazy Rs and Ls and a severe stutter. My Ls sounded like Ws.

Do you have a clip of what you are talking about?

 

I bet I know what you talking about.

I skip the linguist jargon.

They like most of the world are learning to speak American, especially that of the Southern / Black English variety which is what I tend to speak in my everyday.

Take the word fool.

I best you finish that l with your tongue touching against where your teeth meets your palette.

I typically wouldn't.

So that slightly aspirated "la" doesn't happen at the end.

You certainly use a dark l but with finish at the end as described above. (The way you would start the word look.)

Just a theory. After listening to myself affect the various ways I use my Ls.



wikipedia sorta agrees a little with my theory:

Quote
Today
More extensive L-vocalization is a notable feature of certain dialects of English, including Cockney, Estuary English, New York English, New Zealand English and Philadelphia English, in which an /l/ sound occurring at the end of a word or before a consonant is replaced with the semivowel [w], and a syllabic /əl/ is replaced by vowels like
  • or [ʊ], resulting in pronunciations such as [mɪwk], for milk, and [ˈmɪdo], for middle. It can be heard occasionally in the dialect of the English East Midlands, where words ending in -old can be pronounced /oʊd/. Petyt (1985) noted this feature in the traditional dialect of West Yorkshire but said it has died out.[1] However, in recent decades l-vocalization has been spreading outwards from London and the south east,[2][3] and it is probable that it will become the standard pronunciation in England over the next one hundred years.[4]

In Cockney, Estuary English and New Zealand English, l-vocalization can be accompanied by phonemic mergers of vowels before the vocalized /l/, so that real, reel and rill, which are distinct in most dialects of English, are homophones as [ɹɪw].

In the accent of Bristol, syllabic /l/ vocalized to /o/, resulting in pronunciations like /ˈbɒto/ (for bottle). By hypercorrection, however, some words originally ending in /o/ were given an /l/: the original name of the town was Bristow, but this has been altered by hypercorrection to Bristol.[5]

In the United States, the dark L in Pittsburgh and African-American Vernacular English dialects may change to an /o/ or /w/. In African American Vernacular, it may be omitted altogether (e.g. fool becomes [fuː], cereal becomes [ˈsiɹio]). Some English speakers from San Francisco - particularly those of Asian ancestry - also vocalize or omit /l/.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L-vocalization#Today

Maybe the Kiwis are invading your tongue.
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