"tl" in Chipotle

Elizabeth J. Pyatt ejp10 at PSU.EDU
Fri Jun 27 12:12:03 UTC 2014

Chipotle is originally from Nahuatl and the "tl" is considered to be [tɬ] or a /t/ with a voiceless spirant lateral release.

However, English does not really have [ɬ] (this is also the same sound as Welsh "ll" and trips up English native speakers), so unless Colbert learned Welsh or took phonetics, he may not have mastered this sound. I would say that Colbert is making a plain lateral release [tl] (which he does at about 1:15) and an aspirated [tlh] release at (2:15). It's actually a fairly decent approximation for an Anglo ;)

Hope this makes sense.


On Jun 27, 2014, at 12:01 AM, ADS-L automatic digest system <LISTSERV at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> wrote:

> Date:    Thu, 26 Jun 2014 19:04:44 -0700
> From:    Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM>
> Subject: "tl" in Chipotle
> At just after 1:00 in the video at https://screen.yahoo.com/popular/obamas-chipotle-blunder-040000055.html?vp=1, Stephen Colbert pronounces the "tl" in the restaurant name Chipotle as a single sound. He repeats the pronunciation at about 2:09.
> I tried to find a name for this--it seems like a voiceless alveolar lateral affricate--but that doesn't match the sound athttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_alveolar_lateral_affricate. 
> Benjamin Barrett
> Formerly of Seattle, WA

Elizabeth J. Pyatt, Ph.D.
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Teaching and Learning with Technology
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