For words with a dark L like "milk, help; golf; wolf" etc I don't have contact between the tip of my tongue and the alveolar region. My tongue touches nothing.

However. I have spoken to South Africans who say they do make alveolar contact.

When I read up on L-Vocalisation online, I see that it takes place in England and Australia and NewZealand but there is no mention of South Africa at all.

Is it normal for a small percent of a population to be an exception and vocalise their "l's" when most people in that population don't.


Language changes can be thought of as the result of universal rules (of how a language CAN change) being realized, even if the rules may not be that apparent, or not realized in a dialect, doesn't mean the rule couldn't be possible in the language.

Phenomena like l-vocalization, which may occur more often in some dialects of English, are still driven by a rule, and these rules may be more or less generally applied without making yourself unintelligible.

Cross-linguistically, l-vocalization seems quite common in Germanic/Romance/Slavic languages, so it's incorporation into your idiolect is not unusual.

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