pronunciation of ALCOHOLIC

Donald M. Lance LanceDM at MISSOURI.EDU
Sun Nov 12 18:57:55 UTC 2000

I'm sure I've heard /aekih>l/ ~ /aekUh>l/  for 'alcohol' in the speech of Southern
whites.  Another word in which this consonant cluster reduction might occur is 'Alka
Seltzer'.  Sonja might find an opportunity to check out these other words.  I agree with
Tim Frazer that it's a matter of consonant cluster reduction.  I don't think it has to go
through a stage in which /l/ is vocalized.  The "sh" in 'shrimp' does not have to go
through some intermediate form as it "becomes" 'srimp' and I don't see a logical necessity
for /l/ to go through an intermediate stage on its way to zero in the dialect(s) in
question.  Literacy and awareness of an "underlying /l/" are probably not a factor in this
population's phonology -- merely the phonotactics of (a) subdialect(s) forbidding [aelk]
with any of the possible realizations of /ae/ and/or /l/.  Sonja might also look at
breaking before velar obstruents in the speech of these individuals.

Rudolph C Troike wrote:

>         I can see how the l-less pronunciation could evolve from the
> vocalized form, much as undoubtedly happened with HELP --> HEHP --> HEP.
> However, this does not seem to generalize automatically, as I have never
> heard anyone drop the /l/ in ALKALI or ALKALINE, which is a similar
> context.
>         Rudy

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