l-deletion before [y]

Dave Robertson ddr11 at UVIC.CA
Tue Jun 20 16:18:26 UTC 2006

A similar phenomenon: <available> => [@vey at bl].  I hear this very often,
e.g. when National Public Radio announcers say that a certain program, or
information on a sponsor, is "available online."

Other examples of what you're looking at: Dubya; Hillyard (a neighborhood of
Spokane, WA); "will ya".  The character Hank Hill on TV's "King of the Hill"
has an exaggeratedly white Texas accent, and is fond of punctuating
sentences with "I tell you what"--which isn't much reduced, but instead has
secondary stress on "tell" and "you", yet emerges as [ayteyuhw at t].

--Dave R

----- Original Message -----
From: "Damien Hall" <halldj at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
> Has anyone taken note of a tendency in (American?) English to delete l's
> if
> followed by a high front glide, i.e. [y]. I have observed this very often
> in
> the following items:  (I'll use [@] for schwa).
>        billion                [bIy at n]
>        million         [mIy@]
>        volume                 [va:yum]
>        William                [wIy at m]
>        civilian        [sIvI:y at n]
>        (I'm a) tell ya        [tE:y@]
> When I hear stock market reports from New York, I hear "on a volume of 10
> million shares" pronounced [va:yum ... mIy at n] so this seems to be a New
> York thing, not just a Philadelphia thing.
> I don't hear it in "Willy" i.e. the conditioning factor seems to be not a
> high front vowel, but rather a glide: [y], and the stress seems to be on
> the vowel preceding the deleted lateral; (I can't think of a
> counterexample with stress on the next syllable, but maybe there are
> some.)
> There are probably other examples, but these are the main ones.
> My question is, has anyone noticed this, and/or written about it? (And if
> not, why not? :-) )
> Thanks,
> Hal Schiffman
> haroldfs at ccat.sas.upenn.edu

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