Velarized alveolar lateral approximant

Velarized alveolar lateral approximant
Velarized alveolar lateral approximant
IPA number 209
Entity (decimal) ɫ
Unicode (hex) U+026B
Kirshenbaum l<vzd>

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The velarized alveolar lateral approximant, which may actually be pharyngealized, also known as dark l, is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. Velarization and pharyngealization are generally associated with more dental articulations of coronal consonants so that dark l tends to be dental or denti-alveolar while clear l tends to be retracted to an alveolar position.[1]



Features of the velarized alveolar lateral approximant:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian halla [ˈhaɫa] 'aunt'
Arabic Standard[3] الله [ʔɑɫˈɫɑːh] 'God' Also transcribed as ⟨lˤ⟩. See Arabic phonology
Bulgarian ъгъл [ˈɤ̞ɡɐɫ] 'corner'
Catalan[4] Eastern dialects cel·la [ˈsɛɫːə] 'cell' See Catalan phonology
Western dialects alt [ˈaɫ(t)] 'tall'
Dutch[5][6] bal [bɑɫ] 'ball' Postvocalic allophone of /l/. See Dutch phonology
English[7] RP and GA peel [pʰiːɫ] 'peel' Can be always dark in North America, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand. See English phonology
Scottish English loch [ɫɔx] 'loch'
Greek Northern dialects[8] μπάλα/lla [ˈbaɫa] 'ball' Allophone of /l/ before /a o u/. See Modern Greek phonology
Icelandic sigldi [sɪɫdɪ] 'sailed' Rare. See Icelandic phonology
Irish lá [ɫɑː] 'day' See Irish phonology
Norwegian south-eastern dialects tale [ˈtʰɑːɫə] 'speech', 'to speak' See Norwegian phonology. Allophone after [ɑ(ː)], [ɔ] and [oː] in the South-East.
northern dialects spelle [spæɫːe] 'to play'
Ossetian Алани About this sound [aˈɫaːni] 'Alania'
Polish Eastern dialects łapa [ˈɫapa] 'paw' Corresponds to /w/ in standard Polish. See Polish phonology
Portuguese European[9] mil [miɫ̪] 'one thousand' See Portuguese phonology
Russian[10] малый [ˈmɑɫ̪ɨj] 'small' See Russian phonology
Scots fluir [fɫyːr] 'floor'
Scottish Gaelic Mallaig [ˈmaʊɫækʲ] 'Mallaig' See Scottish Gaelic phonology
St’át’imcets qao [qáɫ] 'bad'
Taos [kīǣˈwǣɫmã̄] 'be strong' See Taos phonology
Turkish kızıl [kɯzɯɫ] 'red' See Turkish phonology
West Frisian lân [ɫɔːn] 'land'



  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94 
  • Daniel, Jones; Dennis, Ward (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press 
  • Recasens, Daniel; Espinosa, Aina (2005), "Articulatory, positional and coarticulatory characteristics for clear /l/ and dark /l/: evidence from two Catalan dialects", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (1): 1–25 
  • Roca, Iggy; Johnson, Wyn (1999), A Course in Phonology, Essex: Blackwell Publishing, ISBN 0-631-21346-5 
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (2): 243–247 
  • Watson, Janet (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic, Oxford University Press 

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