--- In phoNet@yahoogroups.com, "Rohit Dasari" <rdasari@m...> wrote:
> Sorry for the delayed response. Thanks David for taking time to
> I've uploaded the file as you requested with /aɭ˕a/
(produced by two different speakers in quick succession) to
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/phoNet/files/ under the filename "aXa
aXXa.zip" (it unzips into a .wav file playable by windows media
> I tried using the "lowered" diacritic under the retroflex lateral
but it was interfering with the downward retroflex hook, so I stuck
it to the side (for the moment, while Arial Unicode MS
ameliorates). :)
> Please let me know if the description "lowered retroflex lateral"
would characterise this sound. How about "voiced retroflex lateral
> Have fun,
> Rohit

Well I've been practicing pronouncing the sound, and my
best guess is that it's a voiced apico-postalveolar, or
even apico-prepalatal (reftroflex) lateral approximant.
I'm fairly certain that it's not a fricative, but I'm
not nearly as sure that it's lateral.

It does seem that I best approximate the recording when
I configure my tongue as for a lateral, well open at the
sides, even though a central closure, of the tip of the
tongue against the roof of the mouth, doesn't seem to
be necessary. In fact, I think that I better approximate
the sound when there is no contact of the tongue than
when there is. Of course this all goes back to my earlier
question to the list about how laterals are defined, and
which I'll rephrase.

If there's no true central closure, is it proper to refer
to the sound as a lateral? Is it only necessary that the
area of the opening at the sides of the tongue be greater
than that at the center to call it a lateral?

Sorry Rohit, but again, as many questions as answers!