Retroflex lateral approximant

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Retroflex lateral approximant
IPA number 156
Entity (decimal) ɭ
Unicode (hex) U+026D
Kirshenbaum l.
Braille ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256) ⠇ (braille pattern dots-123)

The retroflex 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 ɭ, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is l`.


Features of the retroflex lateral approximant:


In the following transcriptions, diacritics may be used to distinguish between apical [ɭ̺] and laminal [ɭ̻].

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Enindhilyagwa marluwiya [maɭuwija] 'emu'
Kannada ಎಳ್ಳು [ˈeɭɭu] 'sesame' Represented by a
Khanty Eastern and some northern dialects пуӆ [puɭ] 'bit'
Malayalam മലയാളി About this sound [mɐl̪əjɐ̞ːɭ̺̠ɪ]  'Malayalam people' Represented by a . Apical and retracted (apico-palatal). Never word-initial and long and short forms are contrastive word-medially[1]
Marathi कुळ [kuɭa] 'clan' Represented by a . See Marathi phonology
Norwegian farlig [fɑːɭi] 'dangerous' Eastern and central dialects. See Norwegian phonology
Punjabi ਤ੍ਰੇਲ਼ [t̪ɾeɭ] 'dew' Represented by a ਲ਼. Mostly found in rural dialects
Swedish sorl About this sound [soːɭ]  'murmur' (noun) See Swedish phonology
Tamil[2] புளி [puɭi] 'tamarind' Represented by a ள். See Tamil phonology
Telugu నీళ్ళు [niːɭːu] 'water' Represented by a

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Jiang (2010:16–17)
  2. ^ Keane (2004:111)


  • Jiang, Haowen (April 2010), Malayalam: a Grammatical Sketch and a Text, Department of Linguistics, Rice University 
  • Keane, Elinor (2004), "Tamil", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 34 (1): 111–116, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001549