Flapping after /l/

Aaron E. Drews aaron at LING.ED.AC.UK
Wed Feb 23 17:20:17 UTC 2000

On Wed, 23 Feb 2000, erik thomas wrote:

}       Flapping can occur after /l/ in American English.

That, I have figured out.  But is flapping of */d/* possible or common
after /l/.

}after /l/ is articulatorily likely only if the /l/ is vocalized
}Whether a speaker produces flaps
}after /l/ is a good indication of whether they vocalize the /l/ or not.

Tapping (ignoring nasals) can only occur after
[- consonantal].  Following Kahn (1973?), /r/ and in some cases /l/ is
[- cons] in syllable rhyme, which concurs with what you say and explains
why /t/ can be tapped after vowels, /r/ and, in some speakers /l/.

A /t/ can also be tapped after an /n/.  Rather, a medial /nt/ cluster can
be tapped.  But, in this instance /d/ does not get tapped.  So _hinter_
and _hinder_ do not become homophonous.

So, if a speaker can tap /t/ after /l/, does that speaker also tap /d/
after /l/?  Or does /l/ pattern with /n/ in permitting the tapping of /t/
but not of /d/?


}> Hello all,
}> Some weeks ago, I asked about flapping in "but hoped".  I appreciate
}> the responses.  My native instincts are a bit skewed.
}> Now, I have another question about flapping.  I ask you because there
}> isn't much detailed literature out there about the whole phenomenon.
}> Some of you and some Americans in general can flap after /l/. So in
}> words like _alter_ and _molting_ there's a flap.  I don't, and I don't
}> think I ever did, even before coming to Britain.  I know that this is
}> a variable feature across north America.
}> Do those of you that do flap after /l/, do you also flap /d/ after
}> /l/? So that _alter_ and _alder_, _molting_ and _molding_ are
}> homophonous?  The distinction between /t/ and /d/ is lost elsewhere,
}> e.g. The injured lamb was [bliDing] (Oswald 1943 (AS 18)); The man was
}> [h at rDing] the sheep. Is the distinction lost after /l/, too?  Or, does
}> [d] have a longer articulation than voiced [t] after /l/?
}> I'd appreciate any insights.
}> Thank you,
}> Aaron

Aaron E. Drews                               The University of Edinburgh
aaron at ling.ed.ac.uk                  Departments of English Language and
http://www.ling.ed.ac.uk/~aaron       Theoretical & Applied  Linguistics


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