Talk:Dental, alveolar and postalveolar lateral approximants

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Lip or please[edit]

The l in lip is not the same as the one in please. I think the latter is more like the final consonant of 'school' or the l in 'play'. --Grammatical error 19:30, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

The l in lip is a voiced aveolar lateral approximant, while the l in please is a voiceless aveolar lateral approximant. So they are just two different versions of the same sound. Also, the l in school is actually a velarized alveolar lateral approximant, which in English is only found at the end of a word or syllable, and is a different sound from the l in please. The l in play is a voiceless alveolar lateral approximant and is therefore exactly like the l in lip. So the statement in the article is perfectly correct.

--Redtitan 02:40, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Unvoiced version[edit]

what about the unvoiced version of the alveolar lateral aproximant? there is no place to put it, so I say it here. There are languages that use this sound.Tlantanu (talk) 18:53, 21 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree. Some languages have a contrast between the two, while others might only used the unvoiced one. Perhaps we could add a separate section with the features and occurences? (see also Voiceless alveolar fricative, where this was done) (talk) 19:41, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
At Voiceless alveolar fricative, the difference was one of articulation not of laryngeal setting. I'm not in support of a whole extra section; the notes column should be enough to simply say that the language contrasts a voiced and voiceless version (as is done with Angami, Burmese, Iaai, Tee, and Tibetan). — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 01:05, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Sample Sound[edit]

Sample sound says something like "La Alla(h)", which means "ignoring the God (Allah)" in Arabic. I want you to edit the sound. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 22 December 2010 (UTC)

The format for these kinds of sound files is the sound word initially with aa and then the sound between two aa's. While it's interesting that it sounds like something in Arabic that some might find offensive, I don't think that's a sufficient reason to change the file. — Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɛ̃ɾ̃ˡi] 19:09, 22 December 2010 (UTC)
If it offends you just pretend it's part of "لا إله إلا الله‎" TFighterPilot (talk) 09:24, 10 May 2011 (UTC)
Heh, just saw this. The assertion made by the IP user is impossible, I'm pretty sure. Grammatically speaking a short word like [ɫa] can't mean "ignoring" in Arabic. Participles have to be longer than two sounds. And the Arabic l is only dark in the word Allah. No other words have dark l, so [ɫa] isn't even an Arabic word. So, [ɫa ʔaɫːa] can't mean "ignoring God" in Arabic. — Eru·tuon 04:26, 1 June 2015 (UTC)

dental or alveolar?[edit]

The following are not clear (moved from article):

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Adyghe кIалэ [t͡ʃaːla] 'boy'
Chechen лам / lam [laːm] 'mountain'
Georgian[1] ლუდი [ludi] 'beer'
Innu-aimun Western dialect iñnu [i:lnu] 'human being'
Kagayanen[2] ? [sala] 'living room'
Macedonian лево [lɛvɔ] 'left' See Macedonian phonology
Melpa[3] [lola] 'speak improperly'
Ngwe Njoagwi dialect [lɛ̀rɛ́] 'eye'
Norwegian liv [liːv] 'life' See Norwegian phonology
Polish[4] pole About this sound [ˈpɔlɛ]  'field' See Polish phonology
West Frisian lyts [lit͡s] 'small' In complementary distribution with [ɫ]; occurs before [i] and [y]
Yi la [la˧] 'come'
Zapotec Tilquiapan[5] lan [laŋ] 'soot'
Zulu[6] lala [lálà] 'sleep'

IPA for portugese example[edit]

The portugese example "clique" seems to have the wrong IPA: [ˈklik] - I always pronounce an ending vowel, and I believe everyone else does (therefore it doesn't end in the "k", having an extra sound afterwards). Someone with access to some trustworthy source please check. (talk) 06:58, 28 January 2013 (UTC)

I speak the most prestigious language variety of the language (in Brazil) and it deletes some vowels accordingly. It is among other characteristics of a development called vowel reduction, a beautiful characteristic of the Portuguese language that Brazilians didn't learn to admire, see and even deny its very existence in our variant as much as possible, just as they try to mock palatalization of coda /S/ as ugly noisy carioca thing (I believe with a very strong taint of inferiority-complex-and-marxism-derived lusophobia). Brazilian Portuguese transcriptions here in Wikipedia are always a bit messed up exactly because the most prestigious variety is among those that use vowel reduction to an extent that most resembles European Portuguese.
Good that you meantioned Portuguese, BTW. Linha IS NOT AND WILL NEVER BE ANYWHERE IN BRAZIL OTHER THAN THE DEEP NORTHEAST not velarized. n00bs, n00bs everywhere. I can't really abandon this place... HUEHUEBRBRs y u mock vowel reduction, s-palatalization and l-velarization so much? In your wildest dreams, I know you want to speak Spanish... (talk) 07:17, 30 January 2013 (UTC)


Brazil got no clear alveolar. What-so-ever, one may get Jimbo here saying I should respect academics, it will still be untrue. In Brazil some speak 'li' with an unvelarized dental from Maranhão/Piauí to Alagoas/Sergipe (though not including a majority of educated speakers in Recife since 90s-00s – they're likely to absorb more prestigious characteristics to speech, what was [hɛˈsifi] is now [heˈsifi] –, and velarized is also expanding in Fortaleza since the 00s-10s), and such articulation is instantly recognized by all other Brazilians in every part of the country. It is not present anywhere else, it sounds overly foreign. I don't really know if 'la', 'lâ', 'lé' or 'lê' will get an unvelarized elsewhere, the difference is harder to detect, but it didn't in southern Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo, and the parts of Minas Gerais to which speech I'm exposed to (BTW, many elders and some middle-aged adults of said mineiro regions still have velarized coda ells instead of vocalized much as portunhol-speaking youths to the south). I wouldn't mind a source for Africa and Asia, though, I am certain to know little about there. (talk) 07:42, 30 January 2013 (UTC)

In addition to generally eschewing original research, it's also the case that native speakers don't have a lot of authority on the phonetic nuances of their speech (since they are primed specifically to not notice them) or the dialectal variation of the language they speak (since their experience is largely anecdotal and impressionistic). — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:01, 31 January 2013 (UTC)
I could have a thousand arguments, but you'll hardly understand my side and will only lead to unnecessary conflict. That is why I will try to follow the "whatevah" lemma from now.
OK. That is what people say in academia and I'm obviously no person to question it, but I think it varies from one person to another (as nearly much everything in life). Some Japanese people have less lallation/rarration than others even if they are learning a foreign language for the same ammount of time, even if they speak the same dialect, even if they have a similar exposure to it, even if they are equally untrained in Linguistics and no one got to explain them what a phoneme and what an allophone are. And I remember quite well on how I was the best English student on the 1st grade (and overall, much before getting to English Wikipedia in 2010), getting that it has a different phonetic inventory than that of Portuguese and it requires special attention and training, something that 8th graders often didn't seem to notice or bother. People have different intellectual, perception and speech production abilities, and since you are not even an L2 speaker of Portuguese, you wouldn't understand me. Brazilian Portuguese has no contrast between a velarized and a palatalized ell before [i] (and for many people trying to create a distinction between the creates just versions with stronger and lighter velarization), for example, so I tend to note when this consonant does not have secondary articulation. Perhaps your ears won't detect it, but for me it is the easiest thing in the word – and for Brazilians who see a weird meme in YouTube and end up commenting the lack of the velarization of a girl's speech before [i], too (as it is something that I clearly tried to say a lot of times that lacks prestige, and is pretty much used to draw a line of "us" and "them" in my country because of social class and migration issues – but then you studied Linguistics and not Sociology or Geography – that is why it affects even native speech in said regions, so that many people, specially those of middle and upper class, try to artificially sound like people with other dialects, and is by noting what they end up changing and what they don't is how I first came to be certain that I speak the standard variant).
Especially if a native speaker tries to demonstrates he or she is self-learned in a subject (of course I'm not an authority on Portuguese, I've never claimed to be so, but on most things I've said in my edits to Wikipedia sources have thoroughly agreed with what I found out anecdotally and impressionistically – chiefly what I've said about Brazilian Portuguese, that is generally impecable), it is best to agree with him what kind of information is misleading or not. I bet that it must say anywhere in those sources that Portuguese has a clearer onset velarization before certain vowels, so a dialect that has it in certain point is the exception and not the rule. About the denti-alveolar thingy, well, it is just that I know the difference between a Spanish or English ell and a French one, and that of my speech and anyone I know is closer to the French. Also, sources showing that European Portuguese /l/ and /n/ is dental. Obviously I don't know every single Brazilian to say it doesn't exist, some of them indeed have clear alveolar ells before some vowels as I've found in some sources, but it certainly isn't before [i] much less the case of the majority of people in Centro-Sul and Amazônia (Nordeste is kind of an apart case in Portuguese phonology, and isn't just me that is saying). The source you use for Brazilian Portuguese phonology is studying a single sociolect, of a region exposed to Italian, Japanese and nordestino migration, so I'd be surprised if it DIDN'T have phonological aspects apart of Brazilian dialects more exposed to contemporary European Portuguese, Galician/Spanish, French, German, Tupian or Slavic languages, for example. And as I have sources to prove, including from people from Pará and the Northeast, the variant that is both more prestigious and representative of overall Brazilian Portuguese is that of Rio de Janeiro (to the single exception that we always palatalize – according to a source I put in [ɦ], 98% of speech of those with a Bachelor degree, ~70-85% of those adult males completing only our equivalent to primary school –, debuccalize or delete coda sibilant /S/). (talk) 03:06, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
I should emphasize that I was speaking to natural authority; I was not saying that it is impossible for you to be able to detect phonetic nuances but that your status as a native speaker of the language would not help you (it would actually hurt you, so if you can detect such things it is in spite of your status as a native speaker).
That is a fair point about the current source used. Another valuable source, The Phonology of Portuguese is deliberately vague on the matter of whether the sound is dental or alveolar. There is a crosslinguistic tendency for velarized coronal consonants to be dental, rather than alveolar, which would lead us to suspect that Portuguese is no different, but it could very well be an exception (just as there are dialects of Irish, for example, that contrast velarized alveolars with velarized dentals). — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 03:30, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
I know we can't do OR, but that's what happens. Caipira, sertanejo, paranaense and mineiro have dark ell and dark coda ar (the source I've put in the alveolo-palatal lateral says that the retroflexo is "velarized palatolingual", light and/or alveolar is an innovative trait of metropolitan São Paulo - again, Italians, Asians, Arabs, nordestinos), the speakers that didn't merge both because of education generally did have as today it still is in Rio Grande do Sul. My ell is dental and dark before all vowels (though Brazilians from other states may have it light before non-close, non-rounded vowels), and vocalized to [u̯] at coda (I can't naturally do a near-close vowel, syllabic or not), just as that of my ancestors from northern Portugal and Madeira (another Brazilian Portuguese trait that starts from remote parts of Portugal, dominates Rio and then dominates the country, eh). BTW, that is how I speak English and Spanish, a trait I need to get rid off (or don't need so).
You are right, before looking up what exactly velarization was, I thought the General Brazilian 'li', different from the American and Argentine ones, meant that we palatalize it before said vowel, as what happens to our and the Japanese n. It was even more confusing because Brazilian [lj] necessarily becomes [ʎ] (look up Ana Júlia by Los Hermanos in YouTube), just as [nj] becomes [ɲ]. I know that it is distinct because of my recent exposition to Polish and Russian, but the difference still sounds small. The clear dental l of my friends from the Northeast and of a few French songs is certainly more distant. I wouldn't know the difference impressionistically, but phonetic sources were sufficient.
Madalena Cruz-Ferreira didn't say nothing about it? Portuguese dark l is marked dental in the article, that is why I added it here. The Italian source treats Brazilian Portuguese /l/ as always velarized just as the Portuguese, with "less marked" accents having "Polish barred l" (I'll look what it is in the canIPA PDF, wish me good luck), the "even less marked" (with a symbol indicating good Italian pronunciation) clear and the "more marked" ones as having "alveo-uvular" articulation (pharyngealization? It shows a double tilded ell) – this PDF doesn't come to mention if Portuguese ell is alveolar or dental, perhaps they regard it as a minor issue, just non-notable allophony, and again it says somewhere that the Portuguese they base themselves to write it is that of São Paulo (most people elligible to Italian citizenship by descent come from São Paulo and southern Brazil, after all). (talk) 05:14, 2 February 2013 (UTC)
Cruz-Ferreira only talks about European Portuguese, saying that "/l/ is velarized in all its occurrences." — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:16, 2 February 2013 (UTC)

Velarized version: different entity/Unicode instead?[edit]

I have seen <ɫ> used to represent the velarized/'dark' l in phonology texts more often than the pair of symbols whose decimal entities and Unicode hex codes are given in the infobox. Furthermore, since there is only one symbol required (decimal 619, hex code U+026B), perhaps this symbol should be presented as the top IPA representation and its character codes given, rather than <lˠ>. Does anyone else think this might be a good edit to make? BlueCaper (talk) 19:19, 16 August 2014 (UTC)


  • Prose Quality
Well-written Yes
Structure: Well structured
Understandable: Yes
  • Verifiability: Well sourced, to the point that I'm willing to take out the {{tl:refimprove}} tag.
  • Coverage of Topic: The article covers a great wealth of information
Neutral Point of View: Yes
Supporting Material: Infobox and tables are appropriate and used well. While making up a large amount of the article space, the tables are no doubt necessary as any other way of displaying that information would be confusing.

the article is stable Overall rating: B

It seems to me that this article ticks all the good article criteria, and I'd like to nominate it as such. Peter238 you seem to be the most recent consistent editor, would you be willing to help out with a GA review if I were to nominate it?

Wugapodes (talk) 03:47, 1 June 2015‎ (UTC)

@Wugapodes: Why not, but I'm not sure how to help. Sorry for the late response, but I've never been notified about this. Strange, the date below your message is 12 April, not 1 June. Peter238 (talk) 09:14, 1 June 2015 (UTC)
From what I understand, the reviewer will contact you with questions about content accuracy, sourcing, and suggestions for immediate improvement.
The date thing seems to be a bug with the template I use to assess articles. I never noticed it until now. I'll be sure to fix that ASAP. Wugapodes (talk) 20:42, 1 June 2015 (UTC)


  1. ^ Shosted & Chikovani (2006:255)
  2. ^ Olson et al. (2010:206–207)
  3. ^ Ladefoged (2005:169)
  4. ^ Jassem (2003:103)
  5. ^ Merrill (2008:108)
  6. ^ Ladefoged (2005:170)