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Light and Dark L

A provisional note:

First get clear the basic rule for Dark L in RP and other Southern English dialects:
1. L is light if it it followed by a vowel; otherwise it is dark
lip (light); pill, milk, people (dark)

L Vocalization is a variant of this, and so it only works in accens which have the Dark L rule
2. L is light if it is followed by a vowel: otherwise it is VOCALIZEd to o.
lip; pill = pio, milk = miok, people = pi:po. (London and widely in S England and Aus, NZ)


3 Light L or Dark L used everywhere:

Since L Vocalization is stigmatized, people "moving up" to RP often do not hear the difference between dark L and vocalized L (o), and so substitue light L instead of their vocalized L in words such as pill, milk people. This is Hyperdadaption and is common in Adoptive RP: it sounds like "light L everywhere" but like all hyperadaption it is conscious and so not consequent (speakers occasionally forget).

 


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If you have any questions mail me at peturk@hi.is.