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I'm a French speaker and actually I have some problems with the sounds l , r and o in lawyer. Do you have any advice for me on how to place the tongue and so on?

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Just to clarify - is it any particular form of English that you want advice on? I speak with an Urban North Island New Zealand accent; and my pronunciation of "lawyer" differs considerably from that of most Americans. I suspect there'll be lots of variation in pronunciation within the United Kingdom too. So please clarify, if possible, which accent you're trying to emulate. –  user16269 Jan 31 '12 at 11:01
    
part duplicate: Pronunciation of “r” –  Matt Эллен Mar 30 '12 at 18:23
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3 Answers

As David Wallace wrote, there is lots of variation in pronunciation. The answer to the question, depends on which form of English you learn. This link is a good one, because it has sound recordings of the different ways in which this word is pronounced in British and American English. http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/british/lawyer?q=lawyer

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When I pronounce l, my tongue either protrudes forward, touching the bottom of my upper lip, with the center of my tongue touching the bottom of my teeth; or bends up and flattens in the front of the roof of my mouth, pushing against the back of my top teeth.

When I pronounce r, my tongue is either in a similar position to the second position noted above for l, but with the tongue not quite touching the roof of my mouth; or curled back slightly in the center of the roof of my mouth.

Both consonants are voiced.

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You might try looking at the videos and animations at Phonetics: The Sounds of American English. (I'm assuming that you are looking for General American pronunciation, not RP or other flavors of the language.)

L and R will be under Liquids (although for the R in "lawyer," you might do better to use ɚ from Central Vowels instead).

Oddly, they don't have any sound that really corresponds to the stressed vowel of "lawyer" - the closest, to my ear, is ɔ among the back vowels, although for "lawyer" and similar words the lips are rounded a little more.

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+1 great reference –  MετάEd Jan 31 '12 at 15:17
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protected by RegDwigнt Dec 3 '13 at 16:17

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