Dorsopalatal contact and F2 data for speakers of dialectal groups with dark [l] (Majorcan Catalan, Eastern Catalan) and clear [l] (German, Catalan from the València region) provide some support for the hypothesis that degree of velarization or pharyngealization in the alveolar lateral consonant does not proceed categorically but gradually across dialects. Indeed, F2 frequency data for [l] in the context of [i] reveal that darkness does not distinguish the two dialectal groups but varies gradually from dialects with a very dark realization of [l] (Mallorquí) to those with a very clear realization (Valencià) through dialects exhibiting intermediate degrees of darkness (Eastern Catalan, German). A similar scenario applies to the [a] context. This finding questions the complex, two-gestural status of dark [l] and the notion that dark [l] should always be more coarticulation resistant than clear [l]. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
- Acoustic analysis