LINGUIST List 17.230

Tue Jan 24 2006

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

Editor for this issue: Jessica Boynton <>

Directory         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 <>
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 (, 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 practice...'' ''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 this.

Karen Chung

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics Sociolinguistics
Message 2: Corpus of American Newspapers
Date: 24-Jan-2006
From: Sandra Glasenapp <>
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