Liquids, or l- and r-sounds, show variation in pronunciation, and tend to disappear (vocalize or delete) when they follow a vowel. In the Dutch dialect of Volendam, there is variation between light, dark and vocalized l-sounds, and different variants of r are used. the Volendam dialect shows a high amount of variation in the production of both postvocalic /l/, and /r/.
The present study has the goal to answer the question about the nature of primitives: are they acoustic (as proposed by Element Theory) in nature, articulatory (as proposed by Articulatory Phonology), or both (as proposed by GP/Mainstream Phonology)?
In order to study this topic, recordings from both acoustics and articulation were made. Ultrasound Tongue Imaging was used to study articulation of tongue movements. Speakers from Volendam were recorded while reading aloud 6 repetitions of 20 declaratives and 20 questions, containing words with and without postvocalic liquids.
Both acoustic and articulatory data are relevant for answering the question about the nature of phonological primes. Differences in acoustics were not always visible in articulation and differences in articulation were not always visible in acoustics.