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Clear and dark l

In English, the consonant 'l' can be pronounced two different ways, depending on the position of the 'l' in a word. Watch Laura Rupp explain more.
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Clear and Dark L. In English, the consonant L is pronounced in two different ways, depending on the position of the consonant in a word, very similar to the phenomenon of rhoticity, in fact. When L precedes a vowel, as in the words “light” and “late,” it is pronounced with the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, the area just behind the front teeth. This pronunciation of L is called “clear L.” When L precedes a consonant or occurs at the end of a word, as in the words “fool” and “ball,” an additional movement is made with the back of the tongue, which is raised towards the velum. This pronunciation of L is called “dark L”.
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Note that in words like “pole,” L also occurs at the end of a word because the last vowel letter, E, is silent, that is, not pronounced, hence, “dark L.”
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Speakers of some native as well as non-native varieties of English pronounce L as “clear L” in all positions. Thus, they pronounce “light,” “late,” and “fool,” “ball.”
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If you don’t make the distinction naturally, then please listen and repeat “dark L” after me. “Fool”, “ball”, “pole”, “well”, “pull”, “mill.”
In English, the consonant ‘l’ can be pronounced two different ways, depending on the position of ‘l’ in a word. The two different pronunciations are called: clear l and dark l. Learn more about clear and dark l in this video.
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English Pronunciation in a Global World

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