Voiced dental and alveolar lateral fricatives

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The voiced alveolar lateral fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiced dental, alveolar, and postalveolar lateral fricatives is ⟨ɮ⟩ (sometimes referred to as lezh), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is K\.

Voiced alveolar lateral fricative
IPA Number149
Entity (decimal)ɮ
Unicode (hex)U+026E
Braille⠇ (braille pattern dots-123)⠐ (braille pattern dots-5)⠮ (braille pattern dots-2346)
Audio sample


Features of the voiced alveolar lateral fricative:


Dental or denti-alveolarEdit

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Amis Kangko accent Interdental [ɮ̪͆]


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe къалэ  [qaːɮa]  'town' Can also be pronounced as [l]
Bura[1] [example needed] Contrasts with [ɬ] and [ʎ̝̊].[1]
Kabardian блы  [bɮə]  'seven' Can also be pronounced as [l]
Ket [example needed]
Mongolian монгол [mɔŋɢɔ̆ɮ] 'Mongol' Sometimes realized as [ɬ]
Sassarese caldhu  [ˈkaɮdu]  'hot'
Tera[2] dlepti [ɮè̞pti] 'planting'
Zulu[3] indlala [ínˈɮàlà] 'hunger'

In addition, a pharyngealized voiced alveolar lateral fricative  [ɮˤ]  is reconstructed to be the ancient Classical Arabic pronunciation of Ḍād; the letter is now pronounced in Modern Standard Arabic as a pharyngealized voiced coronal stop, as alveolar [] or denti-alveolar [d̪ˤ].


Former IPA symbol for the voiced alveolar lateral fricative

In 1938, a symbol shaped similarly to heng⟩ was approved as the official IPA symbol for the voiced alveolar lateral fricative, replacing ⟨ɮ⟩. It was suggested at the same time, however, that a compromise shaped like something between the two may also be used at the author's discretion. It was this compromise version that was included in the 1949 Principles of the International Phonetic Association and the subsequent IPA charts, until it was replaced again by ⟨ɮ⟩ at the 1989 Kiel Convention.[4] Despite the Association's prescription, ⟨ɮ⟩ is nonetheless seen in literature from the 1960s to the 1980s.[5][6][7][8][9]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Grønnum (2005), pp. 154–155.
  2. ^ Tench (2007), p. 228.
  3. ^ Ladefoged (2005), p. 170.
  4. ^ Wells, John (3 November 2006). "The symbol ɮ". John Wells’s phonetic blog. Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, University College London. Retrieved 1 February 2018.
  5. ^ Newman, Paul (1964). "A word list of Tera". Journal of West African Languages. 1 (2): 33–50.
  6. ^ Catford, J. C.; Ladefoged, Peter (1968). Working Papers in Phonetics 11: Practical Phonetic Exercises. University of California, Los Angeles.
  7. ^ Brosnahan, L. F.; Malmberg, Bertil (1970). Introduction to Phonetics. Cambridge University Press. p. 105. ISBN 0-521-21100-X.
  8. ^ Ladefoged, Peter (1971). Preliminaries to Linguistic Phonetics. University of Chicago Press. p. 54. ISBN 0-226-46787-2.
  9. ^ MacKay, Ian (1987). Phonetics: The Science of Speech Production (2nd ed.). Little, Brown and Company. p. 106. ISBN 0-316-54238-5.


External linksEdit