I am a EFL learner who focuses on RP. I have a question about lateral release of plosives t and d. I know that the release of t and d can be done by lowering the side of the tongue when t and d are followed by l, in cases like bottle and middle. And the l in such cases is a dark l, so the back of the tongue should be raised.

For example bottle, title, middle, and noodle.

My question is, during the closing and compression stage of the plosives t and d, should the back of the tongue be raised? Or can I keep the back of the tongue in the natural position, and only raise it during the release stage?

Thank you.

  • Eg are bottle, title, middle, noodle. Those words with a t/d followed by a dark l.
    – rason
    Nov 6, 2019 at 11:03
  • 1
    Thanks, I've edited them in to the question since comments can often get lost or overlooked. Nov 6, 2019 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


I don't think either results in any significant auditory difference, so my recommendation is to use whichever you find more comfortable. But given speech segments are produced very quickly and are co-articulated, the velarization most likely must take place during the closure of the preceding /t/ or /d/.

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