Voiced alveolar lateral fricative

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Voiced alveolar lateral fricative
IPA number 149
Entity (decimal) ɮ
Unicode (hex) U+026E
Kirshenbaum z<lat>
Braille ⠇ (braille pattern dots-123) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5) ⠮ (braille pattern dots-2346)

The voiced alveolar lateral fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents voiced dental, alveolar, and postalveolar lateral fricatives is ɮ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is K\.


Features of the voiced alveolar lateral fricative:

  • Its manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is alveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, termed respectively apical and laminal.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. However, in some languages, such as Swiss German, it can just mean that this consonant is pronounced shorter and weaker than its voiceless counterpart, while its voicedness or lack thereof is not relevant. In such cases it's more accurate to call such sounds lenis or lax.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe мыл [məɮ] 'ice' Can also be pronounced as [l]
Ket [example needed]
Kabardian блы About this sound [bɮə]  'seven' Can also be pronounced as [l]
Mongolian долоо [tɔɮɔː] 'seven' Sometimes realized as [ɬ]
Zulu[1] indlala [ínˈɮàlà] 'hunger'

In addition, a pharyngealized voiced alveolar lateral fricative /ɮˤ/ is reconstructed to be the ancient Classical Arabic pronunciation of Ḍād; the letter is now pronounced in Modern Standard Arabic as a pharyngealized voiced coronal stop, either alveolar [dˤ] or denti-alveolar [ˤ].

See also[edit]