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Voiceless alveolar lateral affricate

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Voiceless alveolar lateral affricate
IPA Number103 (148)
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)t​͡​ɬ
Unicode (hex)U+0074 U+0361 U+026C

The voiceless alveolar lateral affricate is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet is ⟨t͡ɬ⟩ (often simplified to ⟨⟩), and in Americanist phonetic notation it is ⟨ƛ⟩ (barred lambda).



Features of the voiceless alveolar lateral affricate:

  • Its manner of articulation is affricate, which means it is produced by first stopping the airflow entirely, then allowing air flow through a constricted channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence.
  • Its place of articulation is alveolar, which means it is articulated with either the tip or the blade of the tongue at the alveolar ridge, termed respectively apical and laminal.
  • Its phonation is voiceless, which means it is produced without vibrations of the vocal cords. In some languages the vocal cords are actively separated, so it is always voiceless; in others the cords are lax, so that it may take on the voicing of adjacent sounds.
  • It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
  • It is a lateral consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream over the sides of the tongue, rather than down the middle.
  • The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the intercostal muscles and abdominal muscles, as in most sounds.


Family Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Semitic Arabic Levantine ثلاثة/tlete [t͡ɬe̞ːte̞] 'three' Allophone of /tl/
Northeast Caucasian Avar лӀугьине [t͡ɬ:uhine] 'to become'
Iroquoian Cherokee Otali /tla [t͡ɬa] 'no'
Chukotko-Kamchatkan Chukchi Ԓыгъоравэтԓьэн [ɬəɣˀorawetɬˀɛn] 'Chukchi'
Isolate Haida tla'únhl [t͡ɬʌʊ́nɬ] 'six'
Semitic Hebrew תלונה/tluna [ˈt͡ɬuna] 'complaint' Pronunciation of /tl/ sequence by some speakers.
Germanic Icelandic bolli [ˈpɔt͡ɬɪ] 'cup' See Icelandic phonology.
Romance Ladin tlo [t͡ɬo] 'here' Gherdëina variant
Uto-Aztecan Nahuatl Nahuatl [ˈnaːwat͡ɬ] 'Nahuatl language'
Hmongic Pa Na [t͡ɬa˧˥] 'frost'
Plateau-Penutian Sahaptin [t͡ɬupt] 'jumping'
Romance Spanish Mexican[1] Xóchitl [ˈʃo̞t͡ʃit͡ɬ] 'Xóchitl' See Spanish phonology.
Na-Dene Tlingit[2] tleilóo [t͡ɬeɬúː] 'butterfly' Distinguishes aspirated and unaspirated
Northeast Caucasian Tsez элIни/eƛni [ˈʔɛ̝t͡ɬni] 'winter'
Bantu Tswana tlala [t͡ɬala] 'hunger'




  • Lope Blanch, Juan M. (2004), Cuestiones de filología mexicana, Mexico: editorial Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, ISBN 978-970-32-0976-7
  • Maddieson, Ian; Smith, Caroline; Bessell, Nicola (2001), "Aspects of the phonetics of Tlingit", Anthropological Linguistics, 43 (2): 135–176, JSTOR 30028779
  • Chen, Qiguang [陈其光]. 2001. "A Brief Introduction of Bana Language [巴那语概况]". Minzu Yuwen.