An articulatory investigation of word final /l/ and /l/-sandhi in three dialects of English.
Scobbie, James M.
Wrench, Alan A.
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Scobbie, J. & Wrench, A. (2003) An articulatory investigation of word final /l/ and /l/-sandhi in three dialects of English., , , , pp. 1871-1874,
We use the MOCHA articulatory speech database to ex-plore word-final /l/ in English. Eight speakers, drawn from three nations with distinct phonological systems (Scotland, England and USA) all display pervasive and systematic /l/ vocalisation (defined as lack of alveolar contact in EPG data). Vocalisation of word-final /l/ is radically con-text-dependent for seven subjects. These English speakers have a post-lexical external sandhi alternation of conso-nantal vs. vocalic /l/ which appears categorical. We de-scribe the general tendencies and the systematic linguistic differences between speakers, which are orthogonal to national dialect. Coda (re)syllabification of /l/ is not subtle or flexible enough to condition the distribution of vocali-sation. Prosodic, segmental and phrasal factors are all re-quired. A preliminary EMA analysis of intracontextual variability reveals both gradient and categorical aspects.