Lj (digraph)

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Lj in upper- and lowercase
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 <Lj> in the alphabet are phonemic, which means that every symbol represents one sound, and is always pronounced the same way. In this case, joining the letters L and J creates a new letter or a sound. Like its Latin counterpart, the Cyrillic alphabet has a specific symbol for the same sound: Љ.

The same sound appears in Italian spelled with <gl>, in some variants of Spanish and Catalan as <ll>, in Portuguese as <lh>, in some Hungarian dialects as <lly> and in Latvian as <ļ>. In Czech and Slovak, it is often transcribed as <ľ> (it is used more frequently on the latter language).

Ljudevit Gaj first used this digraph in 1830.

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