Date: Fri, 18 Jul 1997 10:13:06 -0400


Subject: Re: pre-consonantal /l/ in AAVE

I think that l-less form of 'film' and 'milk' has a velar approximant

(in IPA an upside down m with a tail on the right side) before the final

consonant. The velar approximant is what's left of a dark l if you don't

make the alveolar contact. In Cdn Eng and lots of other accents, it can

occur finally and preconsonantally but not in all environments. Before a

following coronal noncontinuant, the /l/ has to retain its coronality.

So you never get the velar approximant in 'belt', 'guilt', gold, guild,

etc. In final position, it never occurs in collocations such as 'hill

top', 'pull toy' or 'kill time'. It does occur freely across the word

boundary with noncoronals, as in 'ball game' and 'pill box'. (I wrote

about this for the ADS centennial meeting at Berkeley in 1989, and

revised the paper at Allan's request in 1995, but so far the proceedings

are still in press. Or maybe not.)

So if the AAVE version had the same constraint, then the "l-lessness" of

the word 'results' must have been a different, unrelated thing.

Jack Chambers