Q: Some of my clients seem to have a dark L that is somehow “off”. Since the course, I have been considering it in regards to one client in particular and what we learned about tongue function. I wondered if the issue was making the L without enough activation of the lateral borders of the tongue, consequently not “skinny” enough. I wondered if this has been your experience and if you had any thoughts to add.
A: I have found that the dark/gutteral L is quite common among those with ankyloglossia.
They are unable to elevate the tip to make an acceptable /l/ and learn to elevate the posterior portion of the tongue and come up with that dark /l/, that stands out as “just not right.”
If you pretend you are ankylosed anteriorly, then try to say “look at little Larry laugh” you will likely find that a dark /l/ is the easiest attempt for /l/ since most won’t want to make the w/l substitution and sound babyish. So they come upon the posterior production and voila!!