Is / l / in “whole” dark or clear?



Is / l / in “whole” dark or clear?

I know that a clear ( or palatalised ) / l / is in a prevocalic position; nonetheless, I also know that the dark / l / ( or velarised ) is usually at the end of words


Posted 2020-02-18T12:17:06.883

Reputation: 11



Dark L or velarized L /ɫ/: If a vowel/diphthong precedes the L in a syllable, it's (often) a velar or dark L sound /ɫ/.

The dark L sound is really two sounds: a vowel sound + the L sound. After making the vowel sound, the tip of the tongue rises up and presses against the back of the top teeth in the same as as the llight L.

The dark L sound is often found in the middle or at the end of a word.

Examples: Bell, hell, whole, doll, circle etc.

Prevocalic position refers to real pronounced vowels, not silent spelling letters. Whole is pronounced /hol/, with the /l/ at the end of the word. The e at the end is silent and the L is the final sound in the word so it's dark L (/ɫ/).

Light L sound /l/: If the L sound precedes a vowel/diphthong in a syllable, it's (often) a light L sound.

When you make the light L sound, the tip of your tongue will rise up and press against the back of your top teeth. The light L sound is a voiced sound, so your vocal cords will make the sound.

The light L sound is usually found at the beginning of a word.

Examples: Like, laugh, long, lip etc.


Posted 2020-02-18T12:17:06.883

Reputation: 4 155

1Hi! And thank you very much for the in-depth answer! – M.Ionut – 2020-05-27T21:17:59.137