Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 13:46:22 -0600
From: Charles F Juengling juen0001[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]GOLD.TC.UMN.EDU
Subject: Re: Sulking Over Silky Milk & Other Words of That Ilk
On Mon, 30 Oct 1995, Peter McGraw wrote:
Aside from one observation, no one seems to have acknowledged the fairly
obvious fact that the l-loss under discussion here is phonologically
conditioned. The rule deleting the l seems confined to the environment
after back vowels. Clearly it's most solid (i.e. most general) after low
back vowels (I would be amazed to the point of incredulity to hear of any
AE speaker who pronounced an /l/ in "walk") and weakens with higher, to
say nothing of front, vowels, so that I would be equally amazed to hear an
American say /mIk/ for 'milk'
So would I, because all the people who I've ever heard who have no /l/ in
`milk' pronounce the word something like [mIuk] or [mIwk]. I don't know
what the situation is in the northern Valley, but in the central part,
[miuk] is not terribly common, but not so rare that it is surprising.
Then there's mid back /o/, after which,
this discussion makes clear, there is considerable variation among, and
uncertainty within, speakers. As a child, I seem to have extended this
rule another notch: One day (I think I was in my teens), to my utter
astonishment, my parents pointed it out as an amusing idiosyncrasy that I
said, e.g., "big bad woof." At first I refused to believe that this
wasn't what everybody said, but eventually I made a conscious effort to
amend my pronunciation. I'm still aware of an effort every time I say
As for "folk," I'm sure I omit the /l/ in all combinations. The
following /l/ would help me restore in in 'folklore', but I find it actually
difficult to pronounce it in 'folkdance'.
On Mon, 30 Oct 1995, Bethany Dumas, UTK wrote:
Thanks for getting me back in the thread. Yes, I have /l/s in many of the
other words. But I don't recall ever hearing anyone say an /l/ in
'folk' or 'folklore' and I was beginning to think you were all crazy.
dumasB[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]utk.edu