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210palatal(ized) _l_

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  • David Kiltz
    Aug 19, 2002
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      Carl F. Hostetter wrote [#207]:

      > The sound I wanted to convey is more precisely called a "turned y" (it looks
      > like a "y" rotated by 180 degrees). It is there equated with Italian _gli_
      > and Castillian _ll_ (which, if I understand those correctly, may be more
      > strongly palatal than the Eldarin _l_ in palatal environment, but it's an
      > approximation).

      I agree that Eldarin _l_ was not as strongly palatalized as Italian
      _gl(i)_ or Castillian _ll_.

      As Tolkien wrote « [The /l/] was, however, to some degree 'palatalized'
      between /e/, /i/ and a consonant, or finally after /e/, /i/. »
      "To some degree" here seems to indicate that we simply deal with a
      regular "light" [i.e. slightly palatalized] _l_ as heard in most
      European languages, e.g. German, French etc.

      English _l_ is markedly velarized, hence Tolkien's "allusion" to
      spellings like _iol_, _eol_, no doubt having Old English spelling
      conventions in mind, to indicate the velar character of English _l_ .
      Some phoneticians would probably say that there is an ever-so-slight
      velar off-glide between an palatal vowel and _l_ in English.

      So, whoever has heard a French, German,, Spanish (regular) aut sim _l_
      sound should have a good idea of what Eldarin _l_ was thought to sound
      like in palatal surroundings.

      David Kiltz

      [I agree with the point about English _l_ being velarized, and I should have
      taken that into account. It's not demonstrable to me that there isn't an
      attendant "glide" issue involved as well, a la the pure vowel vs. diphthong
      distinction, as I outlined in my editorial addendum to Sébastien's post, but I
      agree that that explanation is not the only possible one. Thanks for pointing
      this out. Carl]