Date: Mon, 30 Oct 1995 16:52:54 -0800 From: Peter McGraw Subject: Re: Sulking Over Silky Milk & Other Words of That Ilk 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'. 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 /wUlf/. 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'. Peter McGraw Linfield College McMinnville, OR 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. > > Bethany > >