Voiced velar lateral approximant

Voiced velar lateral approximant
IPA Number158
Entity (decimal)ʟ
Unicode (hex)U+029F
Braille⠔ (braille pattern dots-35)⠇ (braille pattern dots-123)
Audio sample

The voiced velar lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used as a distinct consonant in a very small number[1] of spoken languages in the world. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʟ⟩ (since 1989) and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is L\.

The velar laterals of the world often involve a prestopped realization [ɡ͡ʟ].[2]


Features of the voiced velar lateral approximant:

The velar lateral [ʟ] involves no contact of the tip of the tongue with the roof of the mouth: just like for the velar stop [ɡ], the only contact takes place between the back of the tongue and the velum. This contrasts with the velarized alveolar lateral approximant [ɫ] – also known as the dark l in English feel [fiːɫ] – for which the apex touches the alveolar ridge.[3]


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
English Southern US[4] middle, full [ˈmɪdʟ̩], [ˈfʟ̩ː] 'middle', 'full' May occur before or after a velar consonant, as in milk and cycle, when assimilating /ʊ/, as in wolf, or before labial consonants, as in help. See English phonology
Hiw[5] evov [ɡ͡ʟəβɡ͡ʟɔβ] 'evening' Realized as prestopped [ɡ͡ʟ].
Korean 달구지 / dalguji [tɐʟɡud͡ʑi] 'cart' Allophone of final consonant [ɭ] ⟨ㄹ⟩ before velar consonants. See Korean phonology.
Melpa[6] paa [paʟa] 'fence' Realized as prestopped [ɡ͡ʟ].
Mid-Wahgi[7] aglagle [aʟaʟe] 'dizzy' Realized as prestopped [ɡ͡ʟ].

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