The palatal lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʎ⟩, a rotated lowercase letter ⟨y⟩ (not to be confused with lowercase lambda, ⟨λ⟩), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is
Many languages that were previously thought to have a palatal lateral approximant actually have a lateral approximant that is, broadly, alveolo-palatal; that is to say, it is articulated at a place in-between the alveolar ridge and the hard palate (excluded), and it may be variously described as alveolo-palatal, lamino-postalveolar, or postalveolo-prepalatal. None of the 13 languages investigated by Recasens (2013), many of them Romance, has a 'true' palatal. That is likely the case for several other languages listed here. Some languages, like Portuguese and Catalan, have a lateral approximant that varies between alveolar and alveolo-palatal.
There is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the alveolo-palatal lateral approximant. If precision is desired, it may be transcribed ⟨l̠ʲ⟩ or ⟨ʎ̟⟩; they are essentially equivalent because the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue. There is also a non-IPA letter ⟨ȴ⟩ ("l", plus the curl found in the symbols for alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives ⟨ɕ, ʑ⟩), used especially in Sinological circles.
|Palatal lateral approximant|
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|Alveolo-palatal lateral approximant|
Features of the palatal lateral approximant:
|Astur-Leonese||Asturian||llingua||[ˈʎĩŋɡwa̝]||'language'||Where /ʎ/ is absent due to a yeísmo-like merger, it is replaced by different sounds (depending on dialect) and spelled ⟨ḷḷ⟩. Yeísmo is prevalent in Extremaduran language (spoken in northwestern Extremadura) and west central Asturian.|
|Catalan||Standard||ull||[ˈuʎ̟]||'eye'||Alveolo-palatal. See Catalan phonology|
|Eastern Aragon||clau||[ˈkʎ̟a̠w]||'key'||Allophone of /l/ in consonant clusters.|
|English||County Donegal||million||[ˈmɪʎən]||'million'||Allophone of the sequence /lj/.|
|General American||A frequent allophone of the sequence /lj/; sometimes realized as [jj]. See English phonology|
|Faroese||telgja||[ˈtʰɛʎt͡ʃa]||'to carve'||Allophone of /l/ before palatal consonants. Sometimes voiceless [ʎ̥]. See Faroese phonology|
|French||Some dialects||papillon||[papiʎɒ̃]||'butterfly'||Corresponds to /j/ in modern standard French. See French phonology|
|Galician||Standard||illado||[iˈʎa̠ðo̝]||'insulated'||Many Galician speakers are nowadays yeístas because of influence from Spanish|
|Greek||ήλιος||[ˈiʎos] (help·info)||'sun'||Postalveolar. See Modern Greek phonology|
|Hungarian||Northern dialects||lyuk||[ʎuk]||'hole'||Alveolo-palatal. Modern standard Hungarian has undergone a phenomenon akin to Spanish yeísmo, merging /ʎ/ into /j/. See Hungarian ly and Hungarian phonology|
|Italian||figlio||[ˈfiʎːo] (help·info)||'son'||Alveolo-palatal. Realized as fricative [ʎ̝] in a large number of accents. See Italian phonology|
|Ivilyuat||Ivil̃uɂat||[ʔivɪʎʊʔat]||'the speaking [Ivilyuat]' ('Ivilyuat language')|
|Norwegian||Northern and central dialects||alle||[ɑʎːe]||'all'||See Norwegian phonology|
|Occitan||Standard||miralhar||[miɾa̠ˈʎa̠]||'to reflect'||See Occitan phonology|
|Paiwan||Standard||veljevelj||[vəʎəvəɬ]||'banana'||See Paiwan language|
|Portuguese||Standard||ralho||[ˈʁaʎu]||'I scold'||Alveolo-palatal in European Portuguese. May instead be [lʲ], [l] (Northeast) or [j] (Caipira), especially before unrounded vowels. See Portuguese phonology|
|Many dialects||sandália||[sɐ̃ˈda̠l̠ʲɐ]||'sandal'||Possible realization of post-stressed /li/ plus vowel.|
|Romanian||Transylvanian dialects||lingură||[ˈʎunɡurə]||'spoon'||Corresponds to [l] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology|
|Scottish Gaelic||till||[tʲʰiːʎ]||'return'||Alveolo-palatal. See Scottish Gaelic phonology|
|Serbo-Croatian||љуљaшка / ljuljaška||[ʎ̟ǔʎ̟a̠ːʃka̠]||'swing (seat)'||Palato-alveolar. See Serbo-Croatian phonology|
|Slovak||ľúbiť||[ˈʎu̞ːbi̞c̟] (help·info)||'to love'||Merges with /l/ in southern dialects. See Slovak phonology|
|Spanish||Andean||caballo||[ka̠ˈβa̠ʎö]||'horse'||Found in traditional speakers in Peninsular Spanish. Also found in Andean countries and Paraguay. For most speakers, this sound has merged with /ʝ/, a phenomenon called yeísmo. See Spanish phonology|
|Central areas in Extremadura|
|Eastern and southwestern Manchego|
|Very few areas in Andalusia|
|Xumi||Lower||[Rʎ̟o]||'musk deer'||Alveolo-palatal; contrasts with the voiceless /ʎ̥/.|
Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough nor with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no turbulence. This class of sounds includes lateral approximants like [l] (as in less), non-lateral approximants like [ɹ] (as in rest), and semivowels like [j] and [w] (as in yes and west, respectively).Before Peter Ladefoged coined the term "approximant" in the 1960s, the term "frictionless continuant" referred to non-lateral approximants.Delateralization
Delateralization is a replacement of a lateral consonant by a central consonant.Digraph (orthography)
A digraph or digram (from the Greek: δίς dís, "double" and γράφω gráphō, "to write") is a pair of characters used in the orthography of a language to write either a single phoneme (distinct sound), or a sequence of phonemes that does not correspond to the normal values of the two characters combined.Digraphs are often used for phonemes that cannot be represented using a single character, like the English sh in ship and fish. In other cases, they may be relics from an earlier period of the language when they had a different pronunciation, or represent a distinction which is made only in certain dialects, like the English wh. They may also be used for purely etymological reasons, like rh in English. Digraphs are used in some Romanization schemes, like the zh often used to represent the Russian letter ж. As an alternative to digraphs, orthographies and Romanization schemes sometimes use letters with diacritics, like the Czech š, which has the same function as the English digraph sh.
In some languages' orthographies, digraphs (and occasionally trigraphs) are considered individual letters, meaning that they have their own place in the alphabet, and cannot be separated into their constituent graphemes, e.g. when sorting, abbreviating or hyphenating. Examples are found in Hungarian (cs, dz, dzs, gy, ly, ny, sz, ty, zs), Czech (ch), Slovak (ch, dz, dž), Albanian (dh, gj, ll, nj, rr, sh, th, xh, zh) and Gaj's Latin Alphabet (lj, nj, dž). In Dutch, when the digraph ij is capitalized, both letters are capitalized (IJ).
Digraphs may develop into ligatures, but this is a distinct concept: a ligature involves a graphical combination of two characters, as when a and e are fused into æ.Hungarian ly
Ly is a digraph of the Latin alphabet, used in Hungarian.L
L (named el ) is the twelfth letter of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet, used in words such as lagoon, lantern, and less.Lateral consonant
A lateral is consonant in which the airstream proceeds along the sides of the tongue, but it is blocked by the tongue from going through the middle of the mouth. An example of a lateral consonant is the English l, as in Larry.
For the most common laterals, the tip of the tongue makes contact with the upper teeth (see dental consonant) or the upper gum (see alveolar consonant), but there are many other possible places for laterals to be made. The most common laterals are approximants and belong to the class of liquids, but lateral fricatives and affricates are also common in some parts of the world. Some languages, such as the Iwaidja and Ilgar languages of Australia, have lateral flaps, and others, such as the Xhosa and Zulu languages of Africa, have lateral clicks.
When pronouncing the labiodental fricatives [f] and [v], the lip blocks the airflow in the centre of the vocal tract, so the airstream proceeds along the sides instead. Nevertheless, they are not considered lateral consonants because the airflow never goes over the tongue. No known language makes a distinction between lateral and non-lateral labiodentals. Plosives are never lateral, but they may have lateral release. Nasals are never lateral either, but some languages have lateral nasal clicks. For consonants articulated in the throat (laryngeals), the lateral distinction is not made by any language, although pharyngeal and epiglottal laterals are reportedly possible.List of consonants
This is a list of all the consonants which have a dedicated letter in the International Phonetic Alphabet, plus some of the consonants which require diacritics, ordered by place and manner of articulation.Lj (digraph)
See LJ for other meanings.Lj (lj in lower case) is a letter present in some Slavic languages, such as the Latin version of Serbo-Croatian and in romanised Macedonian, where it represents a palatal lateral approximant /ʎ/. For example, the word ljiljan is pronounced /ʎiʎan/. Most languages containing the letter
The same sound appears in Italian spelled with
Ljudevit Gaj first used this digraph in 1830.Naming conventions of the International Phonetic Alphabet
The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) requires specific names for the symbols and diacritics used in the alphabet.
It is often desirable to distinguish an IPA symbol from the sound it is intended to represent, since there is not a one-to-one correspondence between symbol and sound in broad transcription. The symbol's names and phonetic descriptions are described in the Handbook of the International Phonetic Association. The symbols also have nonce names in the Unicode standard. In some cases, the Unicode names and the IPA names do not agree. For example, IPA calls ɛ "epsilon", but Unicode calls it "small letter open E".Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth). Consonants with the tip of the tongue curled back against the palate are called retroflex.Palatal lateral flap
The palatal lateral flap is a rare type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. There is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound. However, the symbol for a palatal lateral approximant with a breve denoting extra-short ⟨ʎ̆⟩ may be used .Trigraph (orthography)
A trigraph (from the Greek: τρεῖς, treîs, "three" and γράφω, gráphō, "write") is a group of three characters used to represent a single sound or a combination of sounds that does not correspond to the written letters combined.Voiceless palatal lateral approximant
The voiceless palatal lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʎ̥⟩ (devoiced ⟨ʎ⟩), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is L_0.
If distinction is necessary, the voiceless alveolo-palatal lateral approximant may be transcribed as ⟨l̠̊ʲ⟩ or ⟨l̥˗ʲ⟩ (both symbols denote a devoiced, retracted and palatalized ⟨l⟩) or ⟨ʎ̥˖⟩ (devoiced and advanced ⟨ʎ⟩); these are essentially equivalent, since the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are l_0_-' or l_0_-_j and L_0_+, respectively. A non-IPA letter ⟨ȴ̊⟩ (devoiced ⟨ȴ⟩, which is an ordinary "l", plus the curl found in the symbols for alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives ⟨ɕ, ʑ⟩) can also be used.
It is found as a phoneme distinct from the voiced /ʎ/ in the Xumi language spoken in China.Yeísmo
Yeísmo (Spanish pronunciation: [ɟʝeˈizmo]) is a distinctive feature of certain languages, many dialects of the Spanish language in particular. This feature is characterized by the loss of the traditional palatal lateral approximant phoneme /ʎ/ (written ⟨ll⟩) and its merger into the phoneme /ʝ/ (written ⟨y⟩), usually realized as a palatal approximant or affricate. It is an example of delateralization.
In other words, ⟨ll⟩ and ⟨y⟩ represent the same sound /ʝ/ when yeísmo is present. The term yeísmo comes from the Spanish name of the letter ⟨y⟩ (ye). Now, over 90% of Spanish dialects exhibit this phonemic merger. Similar mergers exist in other languages, such as Italian, Hungarian, Catalan, Basque, Portuguese or Galician, with different social considerations.
Occasionally, the term lleísmo (pronounced [ʎeˈizmo]) has been used to refer to the maintenance of the phonemic distinction between /ʝ/ (spelled "y") and /ʎ/ (spelled "ll").Ľ
Ľ/ľ is a grapheme found only in the Slovak alphabet. It is an L with a caron diacritical mark, more normally ˇ but simplified to look like an apostrophe with L, and is pronounced as palatal lateral approximant [ʎ], similar to the "lj-" sound in Ljubljana or million.Examples:
podnikateľ: "businessman"; skladateľ: "composer"; bádateľ: "researcher"
ľalia: "Lilium"; ľan: "linen"; ľuľkovec zlomocný: "Atropa belladonna"
ľad: "ice"; ľadovec: "iceberg"
Poľana, mountain range in Central Slovakia; Sečovská Poľanka, historical name for village Sečovská Polianka in Eastern Slovakia used from 1920 until 1948
Ján Figeľ, Slovak politician who was European Commissioner for Education, Training and Culture from 2004 to 2009
Jozef Ľupták, teacher who took part in the Slovak National Uprising and was killed in action on October 27, 1944Note that an approximation using an ' apostrophe is sometimes found in some English texts, for example "L'udovit Stur" (sic) for correct Slovak Ľ-caron in Ľudovít Štúr. This incorrect usage is sometimes the result of an OCR error.Ḷ
Ḷ (minuscule: ḷ) is a letter of the Latin alphabet, derived from L with a diacritical dot below. It is or was used in some languages to represent various sounds.
In Asturian, a digraph (Ḷḷ, lower case: ḷḷ) is used to represent some western dialectal phonemes corresponding to standard ll (representing a palatal lateral approximant [ʎ]). Among this group of dialectal pronunciations, usually called che vaqueira, can appear basically: a voiced retroflex plosive [ɖ], a voiced retroflex affricate [dʐ], a voiceless retroflex affricate [tʂ] and a voiceless alveolar affricate [t͡s]. Formerly, this group of sounds were represented as lh (in Fernan Coronas's proposed writing system), ts or ŝ. However, this grapheme is used only in dialectal texts and in toponyms of western Asturias. Because of the difficulties of writing it in digital texts, non-diacritical l.l (majuscule: L.l) is also often used.In the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration, ḷ is used to represent vocalic /l/.