Clumsy Interdental L
Posted by Neal on November 26, 2008
About the fourth or fifth time this video played on the overhead flat-screen TV in the gym, I began to notice: Fergie has an interdental L! At least sometimes she does, assuming that she made the same articulatory movements during the lipsynching for the video that she made when she was being recorded in the studio. I’d embed the video here, but it won’t play when I do, so you’ll just have to follow this link to the video on Google to check it out. Watch closely at 1:00 for falling and a second later for love; and again at 1:52 and 1:53 for the same words when the chorus is repeated. You’ll see her tongue sticking right out between her upper and lower teeth to make the L’s. The chorus, by the way, is clumsy ’cause I’m falling in love, and as far as I can tell, Fergie’s L in clumsy is an ordinary alveolar one. In between those two times, there’s one more repetition of clumsy ’cause I’m falling in love where the L’s seem to be alveolar. There are other L’s in the song, but not where you get a clear and sufficiently close view of her mouth to see how she’s pronouncing them.
On the other hand… When I realized the video couldn’t be embedded here, and went looking for another copy somewhere, I found this next one, which seems to be a video recording made in the studio, and (one would imagine) not lipsynched. This video gives many clear close-ups for pronunciations of flippin’, fumblin’, slippin’, stumblin’, clumsy ’cause I’m fallin’ in love, and all the L’s there are clearly alveolar, with the tongue tip behind the upper teeth. So I guess the interdental articulation is just for show.
Oh, and did you catch the witchoo pronunciation of with you at the very end?
UPDATE, Sept. 12, 2010: Replaced broken video link.