is a consonant
in which the airstream
proceeds along the sides of the tongue, but it is blocked by the tongue from going through the middle of the mouth. An example of a lateral consonant is the English L
, as in Larry
When pronouncing the labiodental
fricatives [f] and [v], the lip blocks the airflow in the centre of the vocal tract, so the airstream proceeds along the sides instead. Nevertheless, they are not considered lateral consonants because the airflow never goes over the side of the tongue. No known language makes a distinction between lateral and non-lateral labiodentals. Plosives
are never lateral, but they may have lateral release
are never lateral either, but some languages have lateral nasal clicks
. For consonants articulated in the throat (laryngeals
), the lateral distinction is not made by any language, although pharyngeal and epiglottal laterals are reportedly possible.
English has one lateral phoneme: the lateral approximant
/l/, which in many accents has two allophones
. One, found before vowels as in lady
, is called clear l
, pronounced as the alveolar lateral approximant
[l] with a "neutral" position of the body of the tongue. The other variant, so-called dark l
, found before consonants or word-finally, as in bold
, is pronounced as the velarized alveolar lateral approximant
[ɫ] with the tongue assuming a spoon-like shape with its back part raised, which gives the sound a [w]- or [ʟ]-like resonance. In some languages, like Albanian
, those two sounds are different phonemes. East Slavic languages
contrast [ɫ] and [lʲ] but do not have [l].
In central and Venice dialects of Venetian
, intervocalic /l/ has turned into a semivocalic [e̯], so that the written word ła bała
is pronounced [abae̯a]. The orthography uses the letter ł
to represent this phoneme (it specifically represents not the [e̯] sound but the phoneme that is, in some dialects, [e̯] and, in others, [l]).
Many aboriginal Australian languages
have a series of three or four lateral approximants, as do various dialects of Irish
. Rarer lateral consonants include the retroflex laterals that can be found in many languages of India
and in some Swedish dialects
, and the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative
/ɬ/, found in many Native North American languages
. In Adyghe
and some Athabaskan languages
, both voiceless and voiced alveolar lateral fricatives occur, but there is no approximant. Many of these languages also have lateral affricates
. Some languages have palatal or velar voiceless lateral fricatives or affricates, such as Dahalo
, but the IPA has no symbols for such sounds. However, appropriate symbols are easy to make by adding a lateral-fricative belt to the symbol for the corresponding lateral approximant (see below). Also, a devoicing diacritic may be added to the approximant.
Nearly all languages with such lateral obstruents also have the approximant. However, there are a number of exceptions, many of them located in the Pacific Northwest
area of the United States. For example, Tlingit
has /tɬ, tɬʰ, tɬʼ, ɬ, ɬʼ/ but no /l/.[a]
Other examples from the same area include Nuu-chah-nulth
, and elsewhere, Chukchi
are also possible, but they do not occur in any known language. They may be pronounced by initiating [ɬ] or [ɮ] with an especially forceful airflow. There is no symbol for them in the IPA. They are sometimes used to imitate bird calls
, and they are a component of Donald Duck talk
List of laterals
- Voiceless dental lateral fricative [ɬ̪] (in Wahgi)
- Voiced dental lateral fricative [ɮ̪] (allophonic in Wahgi)
- Voiceless alveolar lateral fricative [ɬ] (in Adyghe, Kabardian, Navajo, Welsh)
- Voiced alveolar lateral fricative [ɮ] (in Adyghe, Kabardian, Mongolian, Tigak)
- Voiceless retroflex lateral fricative [ꞎ] (in Toda)
- Voiced retroflex lateral fricative [ɭ˔] or extIPA  (in Ao)
- Voiceless palatal lateral fricative [ʎ̥˔] or [ʎ̝̥] or extIPA  (PUA ) (in Dahalo, Inupiaq)
- Voiced palatal lateral fricative [ʎ̝] or extIPA [̬] (allophonic in Jebero)
- Voiceless velar lateral fricative [ʟ̝̊] or extIPA  (PUA ) (in Archi, Nii, Wahgi)
- Voiced velar lateral fricative [ʟ̝] or extIPA [̬] (in Archi, allophonic in Wahgi)
Only the alveolar lateral fricatives have dedicated letters in the IPA. However, others appear in the extIPA
Only the alveolar [ɬ’] has been attested in natural languages.
Consonants may also be pronounced with simultaneous lateral and central airflow. This is well-known from speech pathology with a lateral lisp
. However, it also occurs in nondisordered speech in some southern Arabic dialects
and possibly some Modern South Arabian languages
, which have pharyngealized nonsibilant /ʪ̪ˤ/ and /ʫ̪ˤ/ (simultaneous [θ͜ɬˤ] and [ð͡ɮˤ]) and possibly a sibilant /ʪ/ (simultaneous [s͜ɬ]). Examples are /θˡˤaim/ 'pain' in the dialect of Al-Rubu'ah
and /ðˡˤahr/ 'back' and /ðˡˤabʕ/ 'hyena' in Rijal Almaʽa
(Here the ⟨ˡ⟩ indicates simultaneous laterality rather than lateral release.) Old Arabic
has been analyzed as having the emphatic central–lateral fricatives [θ͜ɬˤ], [ð͡ɮˤ] and [ʃ͡ɬˤ].
Some older Tlingit speakers have [l], as an allophone of /n/. This can also be analyzed as phonemic /l/ with an allophone [n].
- ^ Mosonyi & Esteban (2000), pp. 594–661.
- ^ a b Okada, Hideo (1999), "Japanese", in International Phonetic Association, Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A Guide to the Use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge University Press, pp. 117–119, ISBN 978-0-52163751-0.
- ^ Arai, Takayuki; Warner, Natasha; Greenberg, Steven (2007), "Analysis of spontaneous Japanese in a multi-language telephone-speech corpus", Acoustical Science and Technology, 28 (1): 46–48, doi: 10.1250/ast.28.46
- ^ Heselwood (2013) Phonetic transcription in theory and practice, p 122–123
- ^ Janet Watson. "Lateral fricatives and lateral emphatics in southern Saudi Arabia and Mehri". academia.edu.
- ^ Potet (2013) Arabic and Persian Loanwords in Tagalog, p. 89 ff.
- Gimson, Alfred Charles (2014), Cruttenden, Alan (ed.), Gimson's Pronunciation of English (8th ed.), Routledge, ISBN 9781444183092[clarification needed]
- Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4.[clarification needed]
- Mosonyi, Largo; Esteban, Jorge, eds. (2000), "Yavitero", Manual de lenguas ind'igenas de Venezuela
Last edited on 3 April 2021, at 15:05
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