August 04, 2007

Vocalization of /l/ in the funny papers

Here's an un-illustrated (but true) l-vocalization story. I was a graduate student, and my oldest son was three. He was riding his tricycle in the driveway of our apartment in Dorchester, steering around in ever-narrowing circles.

"Don't lose your balance!", I warned.

He stopped, looked at me, got off the trike, and walked to the porch, where he found his soccer ball. He carried it to middle of the driveway, raised it above his head with both hands, and threw it as hard as he could against the ground. He retrieved it and repeated the process again, with the same result. He turned to me, put his hands on his hips, and shook his head with an expression of patient resignation.

"I can't lose my bounce", he told me, and went back to riding around in circles.

That was [ˈba.wəns], of course.

Posted by Mark Liberman at August 4, 2007 01:28 PM