World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Palatal lateral approximant

Article Id: WHEBN0000524844
Reproduction Date:

Title: Palatal lateral approximant  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Digraph (orthography), List of consonants, Ll, Spanish language, History of the Spanish language
Collection: Alveolo-Palatal Consonants, Lateral Consonants, Palatal Consonants
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Palatal lateral approximant

Palatal lateral approximant
IPA number 157
Entity (decimal) ʎ
Unicode (hex) U+028E
Kirshenbaum l^
Braille ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456)
Alveolo-palatal lateral approximant

The palatal lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ʎ, a rotated lowercase letter y (not to be confused with lowercase lambda, λ), and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is L.

Many languages that were previously thought to have a palatal lateral approximant actually have a lateral approximant that is, broadly, alveolo-palatal; that is to say, it is articulated at a place in-between the alveolar ridge and the hard palate (excluded), and it may be variously described as alveolo-palatal, lamino-postalveolar,[1] or postalveolo-prepalatal.[2] Of 13 languages investigated by Recasens (2013), many of them Romance, none have a 'true' palatal.[3] This is likely the case for several other languages listed here. Some languages, like Portuguese and Catalan, have a lateral approximant that varies between alveolar and alveolo-palatal.[4]

There is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents the alveolo-palatal lateral approximant. If precision is desired, it may be transcribed l̠ʲ or ʎ̟; these are essentially equivalent, because the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue. There is also a non-IPA letter ȴ, used especially in Sinological circles.

According to some scholars,[5][6] the palatal lateral approximant contrasts phonemically with its voiceless counterpart /ʎ̥/ in some subdialects of Trøndersk, which is a dialect of Norwegian.[7]


  • Features 1
  • Occurrence 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5


Features of the palatal lateral approximant:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Aragonese agulla [aˈɣuʎa] 'needle'
Asturian Northern dialects llana [ˈʎãna] 'wool' Where /ʎ/ is absent due to a yeísmo-like merger, it is replaced by different sounds (depending on dialect) and spelled ḷḷ
Aymara llaki [ʎaki] 'sad'
Basque bonbilla [bo̞mbiʎa] 'bulb'
Breton familh [famiʎ] 'family'
Bulgarian любов [l̠ʲubof] 'love' Alveolo-palatal.
Catalan ull [ˈul̠ʲ] 'eye' Alveolo-palatal.[2] See Catalan phonology
English County Donegal[8] million [ˈmɪʎən] 'million' Allophone of the sequence /lj/.[8]
General American[9] A frequent allophone of the sequence /lj/; sometimes realized as [jj].[9] See English phonology
Enindhilyagwa angalya [aŋal̠ʲa] 'place' Laminal post-alveolar
Faroese[10] telgja [ˈtʰɛʎt͡ʃa] 'to carve' Allophone of /l/ before palatal consonants.[10] Sometimes voiceless [ʎ̥].[10] See Faroese phonology
Franco-Provençal balyi [baʎi] 'give'
Galician illado [iˈʎaðo] 'insulated' (m.) Many Galician speakers are nowadays yeístas because of influence from Spanish
Greek ήλιος     'sun' Postalveolar.[11] See Modern Greek phonology
Hungarian Northern dialects[12] lyuk [ʎuk] 'hole' Alveolo-palatal.[13] Modern standard Hungarian has undergone a phenomenon akin to Spanish yeísmo, merging /ʎ/ into /j/. See Hungarian ly and Hungarian phonology
Italian[2] figlio [ˈfiʎːo] 'son' Alveolo-palatal.[2] Realized as fricative [ʎ̝] in a large number of accents.[14] See Italian phonology
Korean 실례/sillye [ɕil̠ʲl̠ʲe] 'discourtesy' Alveolo-palatal. See Korean phonology
Leonese llibru [ˈʎiβɾu] 'book'
Norwegian Northern and central dialects[15] alle [ɑʎːe] 'all' See Norwegian phonology
Occitan Northern miralhar [miɾaˈʎa] 'to reflect' See Occitan phonology
Gascon hilh [hiʎ] 'son'
Portuguese Many dialects[16] sandália [sɐ̃ˈdal̠ʲɐ] 'sandal' Historically diminished in caipira and hinterland nordestino areas due to more advanced yeísmo-like phenomenon, also affecting in various degrees all of Brazil.[17]
Most speakers ralho [ˈʁal̠ʲu] 'I scold' Alveolo-palatal in European Portuguese.[18] Contrasts with both /l/ and [j], both sounds that Brazilian /ʎ/ tends merge with (especially when not before rounded vowels).[19][20] See Portuguese phonology
Quechua[21] qallu [qaʎu] 'tongue'
Romanian Transylvanian dialects[22] lingură [ʎungurə] 'spoon' Corresponds to [l] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Scottish Gaelic[23] till [tʲʰiːʎ] 'return' Alveolo-palatal. See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbo-Croatian[24] љуљaшка / ljuljaška [ʎ̟ǔʎ̟a̠ːʃka̠] 'swing (seat)' Palato-alveolar.[24] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Sissano piyl [piʎ] 'fish'
Slovak ľúbiť     'to love' Merges with /l/ in southern dialects. See Slovak phonology
Spanish Castilian[25] millón [miˈʎõ̞n] 'million' For most speakers, this sound has merged with /ʝ/, a phenomenon called yeísmo. See Spanish phonology
Ukrainian ліс [l̠ʲis] 'forest' Alveolo-palatal. See Ukrainian phonology

See also


  1. ^ Recasens (2013:2), citing Ladefoged (1997:602)
  2. ^ a b c d Recasens et al. (1993:222)
  3. ^ Recasens (2013:11)
  4. ^ Recasens (2013:10–13)
  5. ^ Such as Vanvik (1979)
  6. ^ An example of a scholar disagreeing with this position is Scholtz (2009). On page 15, she provides a phoneme chart for Trøndersk, in which /ʎ/ is included. Under the phoneme chart she writes "Vanvik also lists /ʎ̥/ as an underlying phoneme, but that’s ridiculous :)." She provides no further explanation as to why it is ridiculous.
  7. ^ Vanvik (1979:37)
  8. ^ a b Stenson (1991), cited in Hickey (2004:71)
  9. ^ a b Wells (1982:490)
  10. ^ a b c Árnason (2011:115)
  11. ^ Arvaniti (2007:20)
  12. ^ Benkő (1972:?)
  13. ^ Recasens (2013:10)
  14. ^ Ashby (2011:64): "(…) in a large number of Italian accents, there is considerable friction involved in the pronunciation of [ʎ], creating a voiced palatal lateral fricative (for which there is no established IPA symbol)."
  15. ^ Skjekkeland (1997:105–107)
  16. ^ Considerações sobre o status das palato-alveolares em português
  17. ^ Aragão (2009:170)
  18. ^ Teixeira et al. (2012:321)
  19. ^ Stein (2011:223)
  20. ^ Aragão (2009:168)
  21. ^ Ladefoged (2005:149)
  22. ^ Pop (1938), p. 30.
  23. ^ Oftedal (1956:?)
  24. ^ a b Jazić (1977:?), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:188)
  25. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:255)


  • Aragão, Maria do Socorro Silva de (2009), ]The phonetic-phonological studies in Paraíba and Ceará states [Os estudos fonético-fonológicos nos estados da Paraíba e do Ceará (PDF) (in Portuguese) 
  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press,  
  • Ashby, Patricia (2011), Understanding Phonetics, Understanding Language series, Routledge,  
  • Arvaniti, Amalia (2007), "Greek Phonetics: The State of the Art" (PDF), Journal of Greek Linguistics 8: 97–208,  
  • Benkő, Loránd (1972), "The Hungarian Language", in Imre, Samu, Janua Linguarum, Series Practica 134, The Hague: Mouton de Gruyter 
  • Carbonell, Joan F.; Llisterri, Joaquim (1992), "Catalan", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 22 (1–2): 53–56,  
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94,  
  • Hickey, Raymon (2004), "Irish English: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive, A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 68–97,  
  • Jazić, Đorđe (1977), Osnovi fonetike ruskog jezika: ruski glasovni sistem u poredjenju sa srpskohrvatskim, Beograd: Naučna knjiga 
  • Oftedal, M. (1956), The Gaelic of Leurbost, Oslo: Norsk Tidskrift for Sprogvidenskap 
  • Ladefoged, Peter (2005), Vowels and Consonants (2nd ed.), Oxford: Blackwell 
  • Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 33 (2): 255–259,  
  • Pop, Sever (1938), Micul Atlas Linguistic Român, Muzeul Limbii Române Cluj 
  • Recasens, Daniel (2013), "On the articulatory classification of (alveolo)palatal consonants", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 43 (1): 1–22,  
  • Recasens, Daniel; Farnetani, Edda; Fontdevila, Jordi; Pallarès, Maria Dolors (1993), "An electropalatographic study of alveolar and palatal consonants in Catalan and Italian" (PDF), Language and Speech 36: 213–234 
  • Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 117–121,  
  • Scholtz, Anna (2009), A phonetic study of the status of three mergers in the Trøndersk dialect of Norwegian (PDF), Williamstown, Massachusetts: Williams College 
  • Skjekkeland, Martin (1997), Dei norske dialektane: Tradisjonelle særdrag i jamføring med skriftmåla, Høyskoleforlaget (Norwegian Academic Press) 
  • Stein, Cirineu Cecote (2011), ]The acoustic-articulatory path of the lateral palatal consonant's allophony [O percurso acústico-articulatório da alofonia da consoante lateral palatal (in Portuguese) 
  • Stenson, Nancy (1991), "Code-switching vs. borrowing in modern Irish", in Sture Ureland, P.; Broderick, George, Language Contact in the British Isles. Proceedings of the Eighth International Symposium on Language Contact in Europe, Tübingen: Niemeyer, pp. 559–579 
  • Teixeira, António; Martins, Paula; Oliveira, Catarina; Silva, Augusto (2012), "Production and Modeling of the European Portuguese Palatal Lateral", Computational Processing of the Portuguese Language, pp. 318–328,  
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetikk, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo,  
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.