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L with stroke.svg

Ł or ł, described in English as L with stroke, is a letter of the Polish, Kashubian, Sorbian, Łacinka (Latin Belarusian), Wilamowicean, Navajo, Dene Suline, Inupiaq, Zuni and Dogrib alphabets, and of several proposed alphabets for the Venetian language. In Slavic languages, it represents the LechiticWest Slavic continuation of Proto-Slavic non-palatal l (see dark L). In most non-European languages, it represents a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative or similar sound.

Contents

Polish

In Polish, Ł is used to distinguish historical dark (velarized) L from clear L.

In 1440 Jakub Pakoszowic proposed a letter resembling \ \ell to represent clear L. For dark L he suggested l with a stroke running in the opposite direction as the modern version. The latter was introduced in 1514-1515 by Stanisław Zaborowski in his Orthographia seu modus recte scribendi et legendi Polonicum idioma quam ultissimus. L with stroke originally represented a velarized alveolar lateral approximant[1], a pronunciation which is preserved in the eastern part of Poland[2] and among the Polish minority in Lithuania, Belarus, and Ukraine.

In modern Polish, Ł is normally pronounced /w/ (almost exactly as w in English as a consonant, as in were, will, firewall but not as in new or straw).[3] This pronunciation first appeared among Polish lower classes in the 16th century. It was considered an uncultured accent by the upper classes (who pronounced Ł almost exactly as: л in East Slavic languages or L in English pull) until the mid-20th century when this distinction gradually began to fade. The old pronunciation of Ł is still fully understandable but is considered theatrical in most regions.

Polish Ł usually corresponds to Russian unpalatalised Л in native words and grammar forms, although the pronunciation of Ł and Л are different in modern Polish and Russian. Polish final Ł also often corresponds to Ukrainian final/pre-consonant Cyrillic В and Belarusian Ў. Thus, "he gave" is "dał" in Polish, "дав" in Ukrainian, "даў" in Belarusian and "дал" in Russian.

The shift from [ɫ] to [w] in Polish has affected all instances of dark L, even word-initially or intervocalically, e.g. ładny ("pretty, nice") is pronounced [ˈwadnɨ], słowo ("word") is [ˈswɔvɔ], and ciało ("body") is [ˈtɕawɔ].

In Polish Ł often alternates with clear L, such as the plural forms of adjectives and verbs in the past tense that are associated with masculine personal nouns, e.g. małymali ([ˈmawɨ][ˈmali]). Alternation is also common in declension of nouns, e.g. from nominative to locative, tłona tle ([twɔ][na'tlɛ]).

Other languages

In Belarusian Łacinka, Ł corresponds to Cyrillic л, and is normally pronounced /ɫ/ (almost exactly as l in English pull), both in the 1929[4] and 1962 versions.[5]

The letter Ł is also used for non-Slavic languages, including languages that did not originally develop a writing system based on the Latin alphabet, such as Navajo and Ahtna.

In Navajo, Ł is used for a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative (ɬ), like the Welsh Ll.[6]

In Venetian Ł is used in substitution for L in many words in which the pronunciation of L has become different for several varieties of the language, such as becoming mute or becoming the sound of English a and the Venetian e. For example: "la gondoła " can be pronounced as (in Venetian) "la góndola", or "la góndoa", or "la góndoea".

When writing Scandinavian dialects having the pronunciation of a retroflex flap for the standard languages' L, many authors employ Ł.

Ł is used in orthographic transcription of Ahtna, an Athabaskan language spoken in Alaska; it represents a breathy lateral fricative.[7][8] It is also used in Tanacross, a related Athabaskan language.[9]

Computer usage

The Unicode codepoints for the letter are U+0142 for the lower case, and U+0141 for the capital.[10] In the LaTeX typesetting system Ł and ł may be typeset with the commands \L and \l, respectively. The HTML-codes are Ł and ł for Ł and ł, respectively.

See also

References

  1. ^ Joseph Andrew Teslar & Jadwiga Teslar, A New Polish Grammar 8th Edition, Revised. Edinburgh: Oliver & Boyd, Ltd. (1962): 4 - 5. "ł = English l hard, dental ; ... It is true, of course, that the majority of Poles nowadays pronounce this sound with the lips, exactly like the English w. But this is a careless pronunciation leading eventually to the disappearance of a sound typically Polish (and Russian also ; it has already disappeared from the other Slavonic languages, Czech and Serbian). ... In articulating l, your tongue ... projects considerably beyond the horizontal line separating the gums from the teeth and touches the gums or the palate. To pronounce ł ... the tongue should be held flat and rigid in the bottom of the mouth with the tip just bent upwards sufficiently to touch the edge of the front upper teeth. (On no account should the tongue extend beyond the line separating the teeth from the gums.) Holding the tongue rigidly in this position, you should then pronounce one of the vowels a, o or u, consciously dropping the tongue on each occasion, and you will obtain the hard ł quite distinct from the soft l."
  2. ^ Oscar E. Swan, First Year Polish 2nd Edition, Revised and Expanded. Columbus: Slavica Publishers (1983): xix. "ł (so-called barrel l) is not pronounced like an l except in Eastern dialects and, increasingly infrequently, in stage pronunciation. It is most often pronounced like English w in way, how. "łeb, dała, był, piłka."
  3. ^ B. W. Mazur, Colloquial Polish. London: Routledge (1983): 5. "The sounds below exist in English but are pronounced or rendered differently: c ... h[, ] ch ... j ... ł as w in wet[, ] łach ład słowo[; ] r ... w"
  4. ^ Б. Тарашкевіч. Беларуская граматыка для школ. – Вільня : Беларуская друкарня ім. Фр. Скарыны, 1929 ; Мн. : «Народная асвета», 1991 [факсімільн.]. – Выданьне пятае пераробленае і пашыранае
  5. ^ Ян Станкевіч. Які мае быць парадак літараў беларускае абэцады [1962] // Ян Станкевіч. Збор твораў у двух тамах. Т. 2. – Мн.: Энцыклапедыкс, 2002. ISBN 985-6599-46-6
  6. ^ Campbell, George L. , Concise Compendium of the World's Languages. London: Routledge (1995): 354.
  7. ^ "Ahtna Pronunciation Guide". Native Languages of the Americas. http://www.native-languages.org/ahtna_guide.htm. Retrieved 2008-10-05.  
  8. ^ Tuttle, Siri G.. "Syllabic obstruents in Ahtna Athabaskan". http://email.eva.mpg.de/rara2006/abstracts_webpage/TUTTLE.pdf. Retrieved 2008-10-05.  
  9. ^ Holton, Gary (April 2004). "Writing Tanacross Without Special Fonts". Alaska Native Language Center. http://www.uaf.edu/anlc/tanacross/writing.html. Retrieved 2008-10-05.  
  10. ^ "Unicode Character 'LATIN SMALL LETTER L WITH STROKE' (U+0142)". FileFormat.info. http://www.fileformat.info/info/unicode/char/0142/index.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-20.  

External links

The Basic modern Latin alphabet
Aa Bb Cc Dd Ee Ff Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Pp Qq Rr Ss Tt Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz

history palaeography derivations diacritics punctuation numerals Unicode list of letters ISO/IEC 646








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