Voiceless dental and alveolar lateral fricatives

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Voiceless alveolar lateral fricative
ɬ
IPA number 148
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ɬ
Unicode (hex) U+026C
X-SAMPA K
Kirshenbaum s<lat>
Listen

The voiceless alveolar lateral fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiceless dental, alveolar, and postalveolar lateral fricatives is [ɬ], and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is [K]. The symbol [ɬ] is called "belted l" and should not be confused with "l with tilde", [ɫ], which transcribes a different sound, the velarized alveolar lateral approximant. It should also be distinguished from a voiceless alveolar lateral approximant, although the fricative is sometimes incorrectly described as a "voiceless l", a description fitting only of the approximant.

Several Welsh names beginning with this sound (e.g. Llwyd /ɬʊɨd/, Llywelyn /ɬəˈwɛlɨn/) have been borrowed into English, where they either retain the Welsh ⟨ll⟩ spelling but are pronounced with an /l/ (Lloyd, Llewellyn), or are substituted with ⟨fl⟩ (pronounced /fl/) (Floyd, Fluellen).

Features[edit]

Features of the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative:[citation needed]

  • Its manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is alveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, termed respectively apical and laminal.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.

Occurrence[edit]

Although the sound is rare among European languages outside the Caucasus (being found notably in Welsh, where it is written ⟨ll⟩),[1] it is fairly common among indigenous languages of the Americas such as Nahuatl, spoken by the Aztecs or Navajo,[2] and North Caucasian languages, such as Avar.[3] It is also found in African languages like Zulu, Asian languages like Chukchi and some Yue dialects like Taishanese, and several Formosan languages and a number of dialects in Taiwan.

Dental or denti-alveolar[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Mapudungun[4] kagü [kɜˈɣɘɬ̪] 'phlegm that is spit' Interdental; possible utterance-final allophone of /l̪/.[4]
Norwegian Trondheim dialect[5] lt [s̪aɬ̪t̪] 'sold' Laminal denti-alveolar; allophone of /l/. Also described as an approximant [l̪̊].[6] See Norwegian phonology

Alveolar[edit]

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Ahtna dzeł [tsəɬ] 'mountain'
Aleut Atkan dialect hla [ɬɑ] 'boy'
Amis Southern dialect kudiwis [kuɬiwis] 'rabbit'
Avar лъабго [ˈɬabɡo] 'three'
Basay lanum [ɬanum] 'water'
Berber Ait Seghrouchen altu [æˈɬʊw] 'not yet' Allophone of /lt/
Bunun ludun [ɬuɗun] 'mountain'
Bura[7] [example needed] Contrasts with [ɮ] and [ʎ̝̊].[7]
Cherokee Some speakers [ə̃ʔɬa] 'no' Corresponds to [tɬ] in the speech of most speakers
Chickasaw lhinko [ɬiŋko] 'to be fat'
Chinese Taishanese[8] [ɬam˧] 'three'
Chukchi ԓевыт [ɬeβət] 'head'
Circassian плъыжь About this sound [pɬəʑ]  'red'
Creek (Mvskoke) rakkē [ɬakkiː] 'big' Historically transcribed thl or tl by English speakers
Dahalo [ʡáɬi] 'fat'
Eyak qe'ł [qʰɛʔɬ] 'woman'
Fali [paɬkan] 'shoulder'
Faroese hjálp [jɔɬp] 'help'
Forest Nenets хару [xaɬʲu] 'rain' Forest Nenets has both plain /ɬ/ and palatalized /ɬʲ/
Greenlandic illu [iɬːu] 'house' Realization of geminated /l/
Hadza sleme [ɬeme] 'man'
Haida tla'únhl [tɬʰʌʔʊ́nɬ] 'six'
Hebrew שָׂטָן [ɬatˁan] 'Satan'
Hmong hli About this sound [ɬi]  'moon'
Icelandic siglt [sɪɬt] 'have sailed'
Inuktitut akłak [akɬak] 'grizzly bear' See Inuit phonology
Kabardian лъы About this sound [ɬə]  'blood'
Kaska tsį̄ł [tsʰĩːɬ] 'axe'
Khanty Surgut dialect ԓӓпәт [ˈɬæpət] 'seven' Contrasts with palatalized /ɬʲ/. Corresponds to /l/ or /t/ in other dialects
Kazym dialect ԓапәт [ˈɬɑpət]
Lushootseed łukʷał [ɬukʷaɬ] 'sun'
Mapudungun[4] kaül [kɜˈɘɬ] 'a different song' Possible utterance-final allophone of /l/.[4]
Mochica paxllær [paɬøɾ] Phaseolus lunatus
Moloko sla [ɬa] 'cow'
Nahuatl āltepētl [aːɬˈtɛpɛːt͡ɬ] 'city' Allophone of /l/
Navajo ł [ɬaʔ] 'some' See Navajo phonology
Nisga'a hloks [ɬoks] 'sun'
Norwegian Trøndersk tatl / tasl [tʰɑɬ] 'sissiness' See Norwegian phonology
Saaroa rahli [raɬi] 'chief'
Sahaptin łp’úł [ˈɬpʼuɬ] 'tears'
Sandawe lhaa [ɬáː] 'goat'
Sassarese morthu About this sound [ˈmoɬtu]  'dead'
Sotho ho hlahloba [ho ɬɑɬɔbɑ] 'to examine' See Sotho phonology
St’át’imcets lhésp [ɬə́sp] 'rash'
Swedish Jamtlandic kallt [kaɬt] 'cold' See Swedish phonology
Taos łȉwéna [ɬìˈwēnæ] 'wife' See Taos phonology
Tera[9] tleebi [ɬè̞ːbi] 'side'
Thao kilhpul [kiɬpul] 'star'
Tlingit lingít [ɬìnkít] 'Tlingit'
Tsez лъи About this sound [ɬi]  'water'
Welsh llall [ɬaːɬ] '(the) other' See Welsh phonology
Yi ꆧꁨ hlop-bbop [ɬo˧˩bo˧˩] 'moon'
Zulu [isiˈɬaːɬa] 'tree'
Zuni asdemła [ʔastemɬan] 'ten'

Semitic languages[edit]

The sound is conjectured as a phoneme for Proto-Semitic language, usually transcribed as ś; it has evolved into Arabic [ʃ], Hebrew [s]:

Proto-Semitic Akkadian Arabic Phoenician Hebrew Aramaic Ge'ez
ś ش š š š שׂ s ܫ s ś

Amongst Semitic languages, the sound still exists in contemporary Soqotri[citation needed] and Mehri.[10] In Ge'ez, it is written with the letter Śawt.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Ladefoged, Peter (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 203. ISBN 0-631-19815-6. 
  2. ^ McDonough, Joyce (2003). The Navajo Sound System. Cambridge: Kluwer. ISBN 1-4020-1351-5. 
  3. ^ Laver, John (1994). Principles of Phonetics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 257–258. ISBN 0-521-45655-X. 
  4. ^ a b c d Sadowsky et al. (2013:88, 91)
  5. ^ Kristoffersen (2000:79)
  6. ^ Vanvik (1979:36)
  7. ^ a b Grønnum (2005:154–155)
  8. ^ Taishanese Dictionary & Resources
  9. ^ Tench (2007:228)
  10. ^ Howe, Darin (2003). Segmental Phonology. University of Calgary. p. 22. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]