Poor Paul: L Vocalisation and the Process of Syllable-Coda Weakening

by Christina Laurer (Author)
Thesis 232 Pages


L Vocalisation (milk [miuk]) originated in London a century ago and contributes to the linguistic phenomenon of «Dialect Levelling». This study investigates L Vocalisation in the speech of the middle classes and reveals its widespread acceptance. The social factors Age and Gender are significant: young male adults are in the lead. L Vocalisation prevails in the speech of people in the South of England with regional links to urban areas. Back vowels encourage this process, whilst front vowels still hinder it. Thus, bulb is more likely to be pronounced as [bAub] than silk as [siuk]. Comparably, R Dropping began in the Early Modern English period, and has led to non-rhotic varieties of English. Since both /r/ and /l/ are weak consonants, their progressive weakening in the coda position is only to be expected.


ISBN (Book)
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 232 pp., 39 tables, 48 graphs

Biographical notes

Christina Laurer (Author)

The Author: Born in Vienna in 1974, Christina Laurer studied English and Italian at the University of Vienna, she spent a year in Italy (Turin) and two years in Canterbury where she did linguistic research at the University College London. After having been awarded her M.A. in English and Italian she pursued her academic career doing Ph.D. research into sociolinguistics and phonetics. In 2000 she achieved qualified teacher status in Britain and is presently teaching at the «Theresianum» in Vienna. Since 2006 the author has been lecturing practical phonetics at the Linguistics Department, University of Vienna.


Title: Poor Paul: L Vocalisation and the Process of Syllable-Coda Weakening