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Wondered if anyone had an idea why a substantial number of Americans
pronounce the word ''both'' with an l.
A first-semester lx. student surprised me by supplying a hypothesis: she
grew up in a community of Danish ancestors. In some environments, Danish d
and t become a liquid, acoustically similar to
(or perhaps a uvular R);
I believe this sound was pronounced as eth until recent generations,
following more or less predictably the weakening hierarchy.
However, a survey of other students with this pronunciation yielded only
about 50% having contact with Scandinavian (mostly Norwegian) neighbors;
furthermore, I'm not aware of Dano-Norwegian (bokmal) having this sound.
Perhaps there's a simpler explanation? Is it due to an acoustic similarity
between /o/ and
? An analogy to ''bowl''?
San Diego State Univ.
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