I've been having trouble articulating this question, so I'm sorry if it's poorly worded.
I'm a teenage English speaker from Chicago. I've recently noticed a seemingly odd allophonic possibility in English which I have never seen discussed before anywhere on the internet. I would like to know whether my observation is bogus or not and, if it's not, why this phenomenon might occur.
On another Stack Exchange question about t-flapping, and the discussion came to -tive words. One person noted that they might use a full plosive [t] for the final /t/ of "experimentative," despite speaking a dialect with regular t-flapping. I said the word to myself to consider my own realization and found something seemingly unexplainable: not a plosive, but a lateral [l] sound gobbling up the "at" portion of the word. Not long later, I heard someone from the Pacific Northwest pronounce the word "competitors" with the "tit" being realized very much like a trilled [r] with two cycles. Again, I realized that I wouldn't expect myself to use this variation, but might instead replace the "it" with a [l].
I've come to classify this variation as something that might occur when a word has an underlying /t/-vowel-/t/ or /t/-vowel-/d/ pattern in an unstressed syllable, especially when one of the /t/s is otherwise likely to be tapped. I can imagine it happening at the ends of words like "completed" or (even more so) "complicated," as well as in the middle of words like the ones I noted in the previous paragraph. The best simple transcription of this variation might be something like [ɾl̩]. The lateral segment is quite light - not at all velarized like many American /l/s. I think it also involves lips that are more spread than rounded.
The slower a word is articulated, the odder this variation sounds, and the more I become content to think that I've made it up. However, when saying the word "competitors" quickly, I find it hard not to produce a series of phones which seems, at least to me, to clearly involve a lateral approximant.
Is this a real thing in English? How can this lateral epenthesis/allophony be explained, and why does it occur?