[Ads-l] It's an intrusive L!

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Jul 3 00:13:55 UTC 2015

> On Jul 2, 2015, at 7:18 PM, Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> For dekkids, I've heard Fats Domino sing:
> I'm walking to New Orleans
> New Orleans is my home
> That's the reason, while I'm going
> I'm walking to New Orleans
> And, during that time, I've attempted to winkle out to meaning of the third
> line,
> "That's the reason, _while_ I'm going."
> In a sudden, blazing flash of insight, I've come to realize that what we
> have here is a failure to recognize the insertion of an intrusive L to
> break up the hiatus between the preceding (IPA) [a] of "why" and the
> following (IPA) [a] of "I," instead of the more-common intrusive R

More common to be sure, although as I noted a couple of years back the L is also a feature of Philadelphia-area (working class?) accent, and nicely illustrated by Patti Smith in her reading of her memoir _Just Kids_, about the years she spent with Robert Mapplethorpe, who did a lot of "drawling" (the kind that involves sketch pads and charcoal pencils).

> or even
> the nearly-standard glo?al onset/glo?al catch. Hence, the correct reading
> of the third line is,
> "That's the reason _why_ I'm going."
> It's obvious.

and confirmed by 

At 1:35 you can here Fats's intrusive L as the corresponding lyrics scroll on by.

Takes me back, but the next one it segues to,
does even more so.  Hearing that barrelhouse piano intro, waiting to find that thrill--ah, to be 14 again.  


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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