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lallation (countable and uncountable, plural lallations)

  1. The incorrect pronunciation of the letter "r" so that it sounds like an "l" (or "w").
    • 1918, Earl Williams, The Court of Belshazzar: A Romance of the Great Captivity, Chapter 19, Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, p. 199,[1]
      She spoke Aramaic with a lazy lallation, affected by many because it was the natural speech of a class.
    • 1982, Bernard Malamud, God’s Grace, “The Schooltree,”
      “Everybody wovs you,” Mary Madelyn said to Melchior.
      Whenever she pronounced an el it became doubleu. [] Except for her partial lallation she spoke well []
  2. Baby-talk or gibberish.
    • 1648, Robert Baron, Erotopaignion, Or the Cyprian Academy, London: J. Hardesty et al., “To the Ladies and Gentlewoemen of England,”[2]
      When you talke with your children you expect from them no congruence or quaint language, yet you are often pleased to heare them prattle, & are delighted with their lisping Ideoms. This makes me hope that you will dispence with the Lallation & Low dialect of this babe, whose tone is rude, yet his meaning is plaine dealing, which according to the proverbe is a jewell, and consequently most fit for Ladies.
    • 1914, Max Nadoleczny, “Disorders of Speech and Phonation in Childhood” in Diseases of the Eye and Disorders of Speech in Childhood, Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott, p. 362,[3]
      The auto-imitation in lallation, a form of spontaneous talking, precedes the imitation of strange words and sounds. [] in lallation the infant follows his own inclination, while in imitating the sound heard from others he will have to accommodate himself to a strange perception.
    • 1962, Ashton L. Welsh, Side Effects of Anti-Obesity Drugs, Springfield, Illinois: Charles C. Thomas, Part 3, p. 173,[4]
      The chronic effects of the barbiturates on neurological and psychic function resemble those of alcohol. There may be dizziness, clumsiness and ataxia; dysarthria, nystagmus, mental disturbances, nervousness, tremor, lallation, confusion, peculiar behavior, weakness of judgment, emotional instability and hallucinations.

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