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August 28, 2017


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I don’t think there’s “a dash of baby-talk” there; the pronunciation implied by the spelling wypipo contains nothing that wouldn’t happen normally in fast/colloquial pronunciations of white people in several varieties of American English (especially, but not exclusively, African-American and southern varieties).

The /t/ at the end of white would for many speakers be realized as a glottal stop [ʔ], assimilate in place of articulation to the following /p/, or just not be released before the lip closure for the /p/ begins; any one of these realizations would sound more or less as if the /t/ isn’t there.

And coda /l/-vocalization (whereby an /l/ at the end of a syllable turns into something that sounds more like [o]; Lauren Hall-Lew has some information about it here: http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~lhlew/vocalization.html) is also very common, though maybe more regionally specific. (It happens in Serbo-Croatian, too, but that’s not relevant here.) Most varieties of English have a velarized version of /l/ at the ends of syllables [ɫ], and /l/-vocalization is the next step beyond that—getting rid of the contact between the tongue tip and the alveolar ridge and leaving just the velarization.

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