In a number of languages, including most varieties of English, the phoneme /l/ becomes velarized in certain contexts, a sound often called "dark l". Some languages, like many North American dialects of English, may not have a "clear" /l/ at all, or use it only before front vowels (especially [i]).
Languages may have clear apical or laminal alveolars (such as Bulgarian, which has both), laminal denti-alveolars (such as French), or true dentals, which are uncommon. However, a true dental generally occurs allophonically before /θ/ in languages that have it, as in English health.
In process of changing from laminal denti-alveolar to apical alveolar, but the laminal denti-alveolar is still possible in some environments, and is obligatory after /n, t, d/. See Norwegian phonology
The velarized alveolar lateral approximant (dark l) is a type of consonantal sound used in some spokenlanguages. It is an alveolar, denti-alveolar, or dental lateral approximant, with a secondary articulation of velarization or pharyngealization. The regular symbols in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represent this sound are 〈lˠ〉 (for a velarized lateral) and 〈lˤ〉 (for a pharyngealized lateral), though the dedicated letter 〈ɫ〉, which covers both velarization and pharyngealization, is perhaps more common. The last symbol should never be confused with 〈ɬ〉, which represents the voiceless alveolar lateral fricative. However, some scholars use that symbol to represent the velarized alveolar lateral approximant anyway - such usage is considered non-standard.
If the sound is dental or denti-alveolar, one could use a dental diacritic to indicate so: 〈l̪ˠ〉, 〈l̪ˤ〉, 〈ɫ̪〉.
Velarization and pharyngealization are generally associated with more dental articulations of coronal consonants so dark l tends to be dental or denti-alveolar while clear l tends to be retracted to an alveolar position.
Laminal; pharyngealized in northern accents, velarized or post-palatalised in southern accents. It is an allophone of /l/ before consonants and pauses, and also prevocalically when after the open back vowels /ɔ, ɑ/. Many northern speakers realize the final /l/ as a strongly pharyngealised vocoid [ɤˤ], whereas some Standard Belgian speakers use the clear /l/ in all positions. See Dutch phonology
When [lˠ ~ lʶ ~ lˤ ~ lˀ], most often dental. Coda is now vocalized to [u̯ ~ ʊ̯] in most of Brazil (as in rural parts of Alto Minho and Madeira). Stigmatized realizations such as [ɾ ~ ɽ ~ ɻ], the /ʁ/ range, [j] and even [∅] (zero) are some other coda allophones typical of Brazil. Can be always dental and always dark (especially before back/rounded and close/unrounded vowels) in most dialects. See Portuguese phonology
Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN0199229317
Barbosa, Plínio A.; Albano, Eleonora C. (2004), "Brazilian Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association34 (2): 227–232, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001756
Beal, Joan (2004), "English dialects in the North of England: phonology", in Schneider, Edgar W.; Burridge, Kate; Kortmann, Bernd; Mesthrie, Rajend; Upton, Clive, A handbook of varieties of English, 1: Phonology, Mouton de Gruyter, pp. 113–133, ISBN3-11-017532-0
Bertinetto, Marco; Loporcaro, Michele (2005). "The sound pattern of Standard Italian, as compared with the varieties spoken in Florence, Milan and Rome". Journal of the International Phonetic Association35 (2): 132. doi:10.1017/S0025100305002148.
Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Endresen, Rolf Theil (1990), "Svar på anmeldelser av Fonetikk. Ei elementær innføring.", Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap (Oslo: Novus forlag): 169–192
Engstrand, Olle (2004), Fonetikens grunder (in Swedish), Lund: Studenlitteratur, ISBN91-44-04238-8
Gick, Bryan; Campbell, Fiona; Oh, Sunyoung; Tamburri-Watt, Linda (2006), "Toward universals in the gestural organization of syllables: A cross-linguistic study of liquids", Journal of Phonetics (Vancouver: Department of Linguistics, University of British Columbia) 34 (1): 49–72, doi:10.1016/j.wocn.2005.03.005
Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373
Mathiassen, Terje (1996), A Short Grammar of Lithuanian, Slavica Publishers, Inc., ISBN0-89357-267-5
Ó Dochartaigh, C. (1997), Survey of the Gaelic Dialects of Scotland I-V, Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, ISBN1-85500-165-9
Olson, Kenneth; Mielke, Jeff; Sanicas-Daguman, Josephine; Pebley, Carol Jean; Paterson, Hugh J., III (2010), "The phonetic status of the (inter)dental approximant", Journal of the International Phonetic Association40 (2): 199–215, doi:10.1017/S0025100309990296
Pop, Sever (1938), Micul Atlas Linguistic Român, Muzeul Limbii Române Cluj
Pretnar, Tone; Tokarz, Emil (1980), Slovenščina za Poljake: Kurs podstawowy języka słoweńskiego, Katowice: Uniwersytet Śląski
Qafisheh, Hamdi A. (1977), A short reference grammar of Gulf Arabic, Tucson, Arizona: University of Arizona Press, ISBN0-8165-0570-5
Recasens, Daniel; Espinosa, Aina (2005), "Articulatory, positional and coarticulatory characteristics for clear /l/ and dark /l/: evidence from two Catalan dialects", Journal of the International Phonetic Association35 (1): 1–25, doi:10.1017/S0025100305001878
Roca, Iggy; Johnson, Wyn (1999), A Course in Phonology, Essex: Blackwell Publishing, ISBN0-631-21346-5
Rocławski, Bronisław (1976), Zarys fonologii, fonetyki, fonotaktyki i fonostatystyki współczesnego języka polskiego, Wydawnictwo Uczelniane Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego, pp. 130–181
Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628