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IPA – number 209
IPA – text ɫ
IPA – image {{{imagesize}}}
Entity ɫ
Kirshenbaum l<vzd>
About this sound Sound sample

The velarized alveolar lateral approximant, which may actually be pharyngealized, also known as dark l, is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. Velarization/Pharyngealization is generally associated with more dental articulations of coronal consonants so that dark l tends to be dental or denti-alveolar while clear l tends to be retracted to an alveolar position.[1]



Features of the velarized alveolar lateral approximant:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Albanian halla [ˈhaɫa] 'armpit'
Arabic Standard[2] الله [ʔɑɫˈɫɑːh] 'God, Allah' Also transcribed as ‹lˤ›. See Arabic phonology
Catalan Eastern dialects[3] til·la [ˈtiɫːə] 'linden' See Catalan phonology
Dutch Belgian[4] bal [bɑɫ] 'ball' Postvocalic allophone of /l/. See Dutch phonology
English[5] RP and GA peel [pʰiːɫ] 'peel' See English phonology
Scottish English loch [ɫɔx] 'loch'
Irish lá [ɫɑː] 'day' See Irish phonology
Norwegian northern dialects spelle [spæɫːe] 'to play' See Norwegian phonology
Polish eastern dialects łapa [ˈɫapa] 'paw' Corresponds to /w/ in standard Polish. See Polish phonology
Portuguese European[6] mil [miɫ̪] 'one thousand' See Portuguese phonology
Russian[7] малый [ˈmɑɫ̪ɨj] 'small' See Russian phonology
Scottish Gaelic Mallaig [ˈmaʊɫækʲ] 'Mallaig'
St’át’imcets qao [qáɫ] 'bad'
Turkish kızıl [kɯzɯɫ] 'red' See Turkish phonology



  • Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90-94
  • Daniel, Jones & Ward Dennis (1969), The Phonetics of Russian, Cambridge University Press
  • Recasens, Daniel & Aina Espinosa (2005), "Articulatory, positional and coarticulatory characteristics for clear /l/ and dark /l/: evidence from two Catalan dialects", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (1): 1-25
  • Roca, Iggy & Wyn Johnson (1999), written at Essex, A Course in Phonology, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN 0-631-21346-5
  • Verhoeven, Jo (2005), "Belgian Standard Dutch", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 35 (2): 243-247
  • Watson, Janet (2002), The Phonology and Morphology of Arabic, Oxford University Press

See also



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