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LINGUIST List 17.230

Tue Jan 24 2006

Qs: Uvular Nasal Tap for /l/; American Newspapers

Editor for this issue: Jessica Boynton <jessicalinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Karen Chung, Uvular Nasal Tap for /l/
        2.    Sandra Glasenapp, Corpus of American Newspapers

Message 1: Uvular Nasal Tap for /l/
Date: 24-Jan-2006
From: Karen Chung <karchungntu.edu.tw>
Subject: Uvular Nasal Tap for /l/

I just watched a video interview by Bill Maher with author Stephen King on
Amazon's new ''Fishbowl'' program (http://www.amazon.com/), and was
surprised to hear King use a uvular nasal tap for some of his /l/ sounds. I
call it a tap because you can hear a kind of clicking saliva sound as the
back of the tongue quickly pulls away from the uvula. At first I thought it
was a problem with the file or transmission, but it occurs many times,
though there are also many ''normal'' /l/s.

The following are examples of where the uvular nasal tap /l/ appears.
Almost all are prevocalic clear /l/s, though at least one appears in the
dark /l/ position, i.e. _all_, though this could be because of linking to
_himself_ with a dropped /h/. Some could be dark or clear /l/, as in
_persona*l*ity_ :

''You're *l*ike, well, what can I do, you know?''
''But, you know, I ran into a *l*ady in the supermarket one time...''
''Not *l*iterally, no.''
''I don't read any of your stuff because I don't *l*ike to be scared.''
''And she said, 'No, I *l*iked that, you didn't write that.'''
''I had _Pet Cemetery_ in the drawer for a *l*ong while...''
''I wrote him a *l*etter...''
''*L*ook, I burn my own CDs...''
''When you *l*ook into the abyss, the abyss *l*ooks back into you.''
''One of the things that we've *l*earned...''
''When you're *l*istening to the Net...''
''a *l*ot of people *l*istening''
''I think George is *l*istening to you and your dea*l*er...''
''...don't come out of a real happy persona*l*ity...''
''...that had told (normal dark /l/ in ''told'') these *l*ies''
''...he's doing this a*ll* himself (normal dark /l/ in ''himself'')
''alcoho*l*ics and drugs addicts *l*ie...''
''they *l*ie for practice,...he'll *l*ie about the time just to keep in
''It didn't surprise me that he was *l*ying...''
''Oprah would kinda *l*ike...''
''Once you find out an alcoholic's *l*ied about one thing...''
''...probably a *l*ot of it's *l*ies.''

Most but not all of the ''normal'' /l/s I heard are dark /l/s:

''Oh, Bi*ll* Maher, be funny!''
''They say, 'Are you rea*ll*y a scary guy?'...''
''Sure, I've got the heart of a sma*ll* boy, I keep it in a jar on my desk.''
''I did this thing ca*ll*ed, ah, _The Shawshank Redemption_...''
''There rea*ll*y aren't.''
''...too horrib*l*e...''
''I pub*l*ished it, and it was a huge success.''
''See, *l*isten to them.''
''They ca*ll*ed me a technophobe.''
''I'm on the first program of 'Fishbow*l*...''
''When you open your ce*ll*phone and make a ca*ll*...''
''Not that you HAVE a dea*l*er...''
''Strict*l*y for medicina*l* purposes.''
''Oh, be*l*ieve me...''
''She be*l*ieved it.''
''Most of the fee*l*ing of it was rea*l*...''
''Any kind of art comes out of a conf*l*icted (''personality'', with uvular
nasal /l/)''

Has anybody run into anything like this before? Or this is a very personal
quirk of Stephen King? I'd be interested in hearing what others think about

Karen Chung


Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Message 2: Corpus of American Newspapers
Date: 24-Jan-2006
From: Sandra Glasenapp <S.glasenapptu-bs.de>
Subject: Corpus of American Newspapers

Dear all,

I am from Germany and currently working on my final thesis in Linguistics
about stereotypes of Germans in American newspapers.

Therefore I am looking for a corpus of press articles from 1998 until 2003
(New York Times, USA Today, et cetera) with articles about Germany or
Germans. Unfortunately I am not able to access databases like ''ProQuest
Newspapers'' or ''Lexis/Nexis'', because our university library doesn't
have a license.

Does anyone know other databases for my purpose, or have a private corpus?

Thanks a lot!


Linguistic Field(s): Text/Corpus Linguistics

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