velarized /l/ and Billie Holiday

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Sat Mar 7 16:23:45 UTC 2009

On Mar 6, 2009, at 11:58 AM, Wilson Gray wrote:

> arnold, what accounts for the disyllabic pronunciation of _-ool_
> preferred by white speakers?

approximant l and r in syllable codas are phonetically very vowel-
like, with the result that pairs like "roil"/"royal" and
"flour"/"flower" are often phonetically identical in connected speech,
even though people think of the first member of each pair as
monosyllabic and the second as disyllabic.

what you're hearing as a second syllable in -ool words is just the
approximant l, which is often phonetically identical to syllabic l.


The American Dialect Society -

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