Palatal Lateral Approximant
Get Palatal Lateral Approximant essential facts below. View Videos or join the Palatal Lateral Approximant discussion. Add Palatal Lateral Approximant to your topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Palatal Lateral Approximant
Palatal lateral approximant
IPA number157
Entity (decimal)ʎ
Unicode (hex)U+028E
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 ⟨?⟩, a rotated lowercase letter ⟨y⟩ (not to be confused with lowercase lambda, ⟨?⟩), 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] None of the 13 languages investigated by Recasens (2013), many of them Romance, has a 'true' palatal.[3] That 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 ⟨l⟩ or ⟨⟩; they 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 ⟨?⟩ ("l", plus the curl found in the symbols for alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives ⟨?, ?⟩), used especially in Sinological circles.

The palatal lateral approximant contrasts phonemically with its voiceless counterpart // in the Xumi language spoken in China.[5][6]


Features of the palatal lateral approximant:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Aragonese agulla [a?'?u?a?] 'needle'
Aromanian ljepuri ['?epuri] 'rabbit'
Astur-Leonese Asturian llingua ['?wa?] 'language' Where /?/ is absent due to a yeísmo-like merger, it is replaced by different sounds (depending on dialect) and spelled ⟨??⟩. Yeísmo is prevalent in Extremaduran language (spoken in northwestern Extremadura) and west central Asturian.
Mirandese lhéngua ['?w?]
Aymara llaki [?aki] 'sad'
Basque bonbilla [bo?mbi?a?] 'bulb'
Breton familh [fa?mi?] 'family'
Bulgarian ?? [lubof] 'love' Alveolo-palatal.[]
Catalan Standard ull ['u] 'eye' Alveolo-palatal.[2] See Catalan phonology
Eastern Aragon clau ['ka?w] 'key' Allophone of /l/ in consonant clusters.
English County Donegal[7] million ['mn] 'million' Allophone of the sequence /lj/.[7]
General American[8] A frequent allophone of the sequence /lj/; sometimes realized as [jj].[8] See English phonology
Enindhilyagwa angalya [a?ala] 'place' Laminal post-alveolar
Faroese[9] telgja ['tta] 'to carve' Allophone of /l/ before palatal consonants.[9] Sometimes voiceless [].[9] See Faroese phonology
Franco-Provençal balyi [ba?i] 'give'
French Some dialects[10] papillon [papi] 'butterfly' Corresponds to /j/ in modern standard French. See French phonology
Galician Standard illado [i'?a?ðo?] 'insulated' Many Galician speakers are nowadays yeístas because of influence from Spanish
Greek ? 'sun' Postalveolar.[11] See Modern Greek phonology
Hungarian Northern dialects[12] lyuk [?uk] 'hole' Alveolo-palatal.[13] Modern standard Hungarian has undergone a phenomenon akin to Spanish yeísmo, merging /?/ into /j/. See Hungarian ly and Hungarian phonology
Italian[2] figlio 'son' Alveolo-palatal.[2] Realized as fricative [] in a large number of accents.[14] See Italian phonology
Ivilyuat Ivil?u?at [?iv?at] 'the speaking [Ivilyuat]' ('Ivilyuat language')
Norwegian Northern and central dialects[15] alle [:e] 'all' See Norwegian phonology
Occitan Standard miralhar [mi?a?'?a?] 'to reflect' See Occitan phonology
Paiwan Standard veljevelj [vve?] 'banana' See Paiwan language
Portuguese Standard ralho ['?a?u] 'I scold' Alveolo-palatal in European Portuguese.[16] May instead be [l?], [l] (Northeast) or [j] (Caipira), especially before unrounded vowels.[17][18] See Portuguese phonology
Many dialects[19] sandália [s'da?l] 'sandal' Possible realization of post-stressed /li/ plus vowel.
Quechua[20] qallu [qa] 'tongue'
Romanian Transylvanian dialects[21] lingur? [?un?ur?][stress?] 'spoon' Corresponds to [l][in which environments?] in standard Romanian. See Romanian phonology
Scottish Gaelic[22] till [ti:?] 'return' Alveolo-palatal.[] See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbo-Croatian[23] ???a / ljulja?ka [a?:?ka?] 'swing (seat)' Palato-alveolar.[23] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Sissano piyl [pi?] 'fish'
Slovak ?úbi? 'to love' Merges with /l/ in southern dialects. See Slovak phonology
Spanish[24] Andean caballo [ka?'?aö] 'horse' Found in traditional speakers in Peninsular Spanish. Also found in Andean countries and Paraguay. For most speakers, this sound has merged with /?/, a phenomenon called yeísmo. See Spanish phonology
Central areas in Extremadura
Eastern and southwestern Manchego
Philippine Spanish
Very few areas in Andalusia
Xumi Lower[5] [Ro] 'musk deer' Alveolo-palatal; contrasts with the voiceless //.[5][6]
Upper[6] [H] 'correct, right'

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. ^ a b c Chirkova & Chen (2013:365, 367-368)
  6. ^ a b c Chirkova, Chen & Kocjan?i? Antolík (2013:382-383)
  7. ^ a b Stenson (1991), cited in Hickey (2004:71)
  8. ^ a b Wells (1982:490)
  9. ^ a b c Árnason (2011:115)
  10. ^ Grevisse & Goosse (2011, §33, b), Fagyal, Kibbee & Jenkins (2006:47)
  11. ^ Arvaniti (2007:20)
  12. ^ Benk? (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 [?], creating a voiced palatal lateral fricative (for which there is no established IPA symbol)."
  15. ^ Skjekkeland (1997:105-107)
  16. ^ Teixeira et al. (2012:321)
  17. ^ Stein (2011:223)
  18. ^ Aragão (2009:168)
  19. ^ Considerações sobre o status das palato-alveolares em português
  20. ^ Ladefoged (2005:149)
  21. ^ Pop (1938), p. 30.
  22. ^ Oftedal (1956:?)
  23. ^ a b Jazi? (1977:?), cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:188)
  24. ^ [1] ALPI
  25. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003:255)
  26. ^ Lipski (1996) and Alvar (1996). [ Yeísmo en el español de América]


  • Aragão, Maria do Socorro Silva de (2009), Os estudos fonético-fonológicos nos estados da Paraíba e do Ceará [The phonetic-phonological studies in Paraíba and Ceará states] (PDF) (in Portuguese), archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-10-11, retrieved
  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4
  • Ashby, Patricia (2011), Understanding Phonetics, Understanding Language series, Routledge, ISBN 978-0-340-92827-1
  • Arvaniti, Amalia (2007), "Greek Phonetics: The State of the Art" (PDF), Journal of Greek Linguistics, 8: 97-208, doi:10.1075/jgl.8.08arv, archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-12-11
  • Benk?, 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, doi:10.1017/S0025100300004618
  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya (2013), "Xumi, Part 1: Lower Xumi, the Variety of the Lower and Middle Reaches of the Shuiluo River" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (3): 363-379, doi:10.1017/S0025100313000157[permanent dead link]
  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya; Kocjan?i? Antolík, Tanja (2013), "Xumi, Part 2: Upper Xumi, the Variety of the Upper Reaches of the Shuiluo River" (PDF), Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (3): 381-396, doi:10.1017/S0025100313000169[permanent dead link]
  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 25 (2): 90-94, doi:10.1017/S0025100300005223
  • 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, ISBN 3-11-017532-0
  • Jazi?, ?or?e (1977), Osnovi fonetike ruskog jezika: ruski glasovni sistem u poredjenju sa srpskohrvatskim, Beograd: Nau?na knjiga
  • Oftedal, M. (1956), The Gaelic of Leurbost, Oslo: Norsk Tidskrift for Sprogvidenskap
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8.
  • Ladefoged, Peter (1997), "Linguistic phonetic descriptions", in Harcastle, William J.; Laver, John, The handbook of the phonetic sciences, Oxford: Blackwell, pp. 589-618
  • 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, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373
  • 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, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000199
  • 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, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628
  • Skjekkeland, Martin (1997), Dei norske dialektane: Tradisjonelle særdrag i jamføring med skriftmåla, Høyskoleforlaget (Norwegian Academic Press)
  • Stein, Cirineu Cecote (2011), O percurso acústico-articulatório da alofonia da consoante lateral palatal [The acoustic-articulatory path of the lateral palatal consonant's allophony] (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, doi:10.1007/978-3-642-28885-2_36
  • Wells, John C. (1982), Accents of English 3: Beyond The British Isles, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 610-622, ISBN 0-521-28541-0

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



Top US Cities was developed using's knowledge management platform. It allows users to manage learning and research. Visit defaultLogic's other partner sites below: : Music Genres | Musicians | Musical Instruments | Music Industry