Voiced retroflex lateral approximant

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Voiced retroflex lateral approximant
IPA Number156
Entity (decimal)ɭ
Unicode (hex)U+026D
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠇ (braille pattern dots-123)
Audio sample

The voiced 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`.

The retroflex lateral approximant contrasts phonemically with its voiceless counterpart /ɭ̊/ in Iaai and Toda.[1] In both of these languages it also contrasts with more anterior /, l/, which are dental in Iaai and alveolar in Toda.[1]


Features of the voiced retroflex lateral approximant:


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

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bashkir ел About this sound[jɪ̞ɭ]  'wind' Apical retroflex lateral; occurs in front vowel contexts.
Enindhilyagwa marluwiya [maɭuwija] 'emu'
Faroese árla [ɔɻɭa] 'early' Allophone of /l/ after /ɹ/. See Faroese phonology
French Standard[2] belle jambe [bɛɭ ʒɑ̃b] 'beautiful leg' Allophone of /l/ before /f/ and /ʒ/ for some speakers.[2] See French phonology
Kannada ಎಳ್ಳು [ˈeɭɭu] 'sesame' Represented by a ⟨
Khanty Eastern dialects пуӆ [puɭ] 'bit'
Some northern dialects
Korean / sol [soɭ] 'pine' Represented by a ⟨⟩. May also be pronounced as /l/. Pronounced as /ɾ/ syllable-initial
Malayalam മലയാളി About this sound[mɐl̪əjɐ̞ːɭ̺ɪ]  'Malayalam people' Represented by a ⟨⟩. Apical. Never word-initial and long and short forms are contrastive word-medially[3]
Mapudungun[4] mara [ˈmɐ̝ɭɜ] 'hare' Possible realization of /ʐ/; may be [ʐ] or [ɻ] instead.[4]
Marathi बाळ [baːɭ] 'baby/child' Represented by a ⟨⟩. Pronounced as /ɭə/. See Marathi phonology.
Miyako Irabu dialect 昼間
[pɭːma] 'daytime' Allophone of /ɾ/ used everywhere except syllable-initially.
Norwegian Eastern and central dialects farlig [ˈfɑːɭi] 'dangerous' See Norwegian phonology
Rajasthani [pʰəɭ] 'fruit' Represented by a ⟨ळ⟩.
Punjabi Gurmukhi ਤ੍ਰੇਲ਼ [t̪ɾeɭ] 'dew' Represented by a ⟨ਲ਼⟩ and ⟨لؕ⟩. Encoding support may be required to see the letter in Shahmukhi.
Shahmukhi تریࣇ
Sanskrit Vedic गरु [gɐruɭɐ] 'the mythological bird who Is the vahana of Lord Vishnu' Represented by a ⟨⟩. Pronounced as /ɭɐ/.This consonant was present in Vedic Sanskrit but had become ड/ड़ in classical Sanskrit. See Vedic Sanskrit and Sanskrit Phonology.
Swedish sorl About this sound[soːɭ]  'murmur' (noun) See Swedish phonology
Tamil[5] ஆள் [äːɭ] 'person' Represented by a ⟨ள்⟩. See Tamil phonology
Telugu నీళ్ళు [niːɭɭu] 'water' Represented by a ⟨

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 198.
  2. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 192.
  3. ^ Jiang (2010), pp. 16–17.
  4. ^ a b Sadowsky et al. (2013), p. 90.
  5. ^ Keane (2004), p. 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
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 978-0-631-19815-4.
  • Sadowsky, Scott; Painequeo, Héctor; Salamanca, Gastón; Avelino, Heriberto (2013), "Mapudungun", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (1): 87–96, doi:10.1017/S0025100312000369
  • Shimoji, Michinori (December 2008), "Phonology", A Grammar of Irabu, a Southern Ryukyuan Language, The Australian National University

External links[edit]