Halloween pronunciation

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Nov 2 07:40:32 UTC 2001

At 12:49 PM -0600 11/2/01, Donald M. Lance wrote:
>I think we're focusing on the wrong thing in trying to solve the
>Holloween matter.  It is
>much more likely associated with what is happening in the
>articulation of /l/ in
>contemporary American English -- stronger velar and lighter apical
>constriction.  A
>strongly velarized /l/ mitigates against the production of a
>preceding front vowel.
I respectfully (re)demur.  If this were phonologically motivated as
you claim, stemming from the dark/back l, you'd get it (I'd get it)
in those other -allow words.  I maintain it's a lexical shift (or, if
Dale Coye is right, and his post sounds reasonable to me, there's
always been an alternation in the "Halloween" type words, arising
from the actual or perceived relation with "holy", "holiday", etc.).


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