I wonder if there is a discussion of the pronunciation of these two words. Depending on the speaker, they sound the same to me. I have noticed in some accents in the north, there's a slight "l" sound in the ll, and even my late great uncle (from the north of Spain) had explained to me that this is a thing, but also he explained this to me a long, long ago and I just want to know if I'm hearing things correctly or if my brain's making it up. ¡Gracias!
yes, you are hearing things correctly. The sound of the letter ll varies a bit depending on the area. I would say, the sound you will probably hear the most is that of the y; so allí is pronounced "a -yí". This is called "yeísmo".
But the letter ll takes slightly different prononciations. Here is a video where a lady explains the different sounds of the word "pollo". You will probably find your great uncle's version there.
I hope this helps.
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