Overheard on a bus:
Small boy [worried]: “Mummy, where’s Carl?”
Slightly older sister [patient]: “He’s in the buggy” [pointing at little baby brother]
Mother [humourously]: “Who’s this ‘Carl’ anyway?”
Small boy: “Carl!”
Mother [rhotically]: “He’s called ‘Carl’, not ‘Cal”
Small boy: “why didn’t you call him ‘Michael’?”
Black family, I guess possibly the mother had a Bajan accent but I don’t know enough to tell for sure.
The point being that the children have non-rhotic London accents (though clearly a black London accents) and so for them there is no “R” or “L” in the name “Carl”, any more than there is for me. Its all one vowel glide. So he probably hears his mother say something like “KARR-ul” but she hears him say something like “KAAUW”.
That’s not a very satisfactory way of writing that!
Does IPA work on this blog?
What I’d say is perhaps [kaəɫ]
What the mother seemed to be saying to me is more like [kærərl]
I probably didn’t do that right!