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 [jɪ̞ɭ]  'wind' Apical retroflex lateral; occurs in front vowel contexts.
Dhivehi ފަޅޯ [faɭoː] 'papaya'
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
Gujarati [nəɭə] 'tap' Represented by a ⟨⟩. Pronounced as /ɭə/.[3]
Kannada ಎಳ್ಳು [ˈeɭːu] 'sesame' Represented by a ⟨
Katukina-Kanamari[4] [ɭuːˈbɯ] 'to go'
Khanty Eastern dialects пуӆ [puɭ] 'bit'
Some northern dialects
Korean / sol [soɭ] 'pine' Represented by a ⟨⟩. May also be pronounced as /l/.
Malayalam മലയാളം [mɐlɐjäːɭɐm]  'Malayalam' Represented by the letter ⟨⟩. Sub apical retroflex. Long and short forms are contrastive word-medially[5][6]
Mapudungun[7] mara [ˈmɜɭɜ] 'hare' Possible realization of /ʐ/; may be [ʐ] or [ɻ] instead.[7]
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
Odia [pʰɔɭɔ] 'fruit' Represented by a ⟨⟩. Pronounced as /ɭɔ/.[3]
Rajasthani [pʰəɭ] 'fruit' Represented by a ⟨ळ⟩.
Punjabi Gurmukhi ਤ੍ਰੇਲ਼ [t̪ɾeɭ] 'dew' Represented by a ⟨ਲ਼⟩ and ⟨لؕ⟩. Font 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 /ɖ/ ⟨ड⟩ in classical Sanskrit. See Vedic Sanskrit and Sanskrit phonology.
Swedish sorl [soːɭ]  'murmur' (noun) See Swedish phonology
Tamil[8] ஆள் [äːɭ] 'person' Represented by a ⟨ள்⟩. See Tamil phonology
Telugu నీళ్ళు [niːɭːu] 'water' Represented by a ⟨

See also[edit]



  • 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
  • Masica, Colin (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0-521-29944-2.
  • Anjos, Zoraide dos (2012). "Fonologia Katukina-Kanamari". LIAMES (in Brazilian Portuguese). 12 (1). doi:10.20396/liames.v0i12.1486.

External links[edit]