Voiceless palatal lateral fricative

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Voiceless palatal lateral fricative
Entity (decimal) ʎ​̥​˔
Unicode (hex) U+028E U+0325 U+02D4

The voiceless palatal lateral fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in a few spoken languages.

This is a rare sound. Dahalo has both a palatal lateral fricative and an affricate; Hadza has a series of affricates. In Bura, it is the realization of palatalized /ɬʲ/ and contrasts with [ʎ].

The IPA has no dedicated symbol for this sound. The devoicing and raising diacritics may be used to transcribe it: ⟨ʎ̝̊⟩. However, the "belt" on the existing symbol for a voiceless lateral fricative, ⟨ɬ⟩, forms the basis for other lateral fricatives used in the extIPA, including the palatal, ⟨ ⟩:

Palatal lateral fricative.png

SIL International has added this symbol to the Private Use Areas of their Gentium, Charis, and Doulos fonts, as U+F267 ().

If distinction is necessary, the voiceless alveolo-palatal lateral fricative may be transcribed as ⟨ɬ̠ʲ⟩ (retracted and palatalizedɬ⟩) or ⟨ʎ̝̊˖⟩ (devoiced, advanced and raisedʎ⟩); these are essentially equivalent, since the contact includes both the blade and body (but not the tip) of the tongue. The equivalent X-SAMPA symbols are K_-_j or K_-' and L_0_+_r, respectively. A non-IPA letter ⟨ ⟩ can also be used, and so can the non-IPA ⟨ȴ̊˔⟩ (devoiced and raised ⟨ȴ⟩, which is an ordinary "l", plus the curl found in the symbols for alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives ⟨ɕ, ʑ⟩).


Features of the voiceless palatal lateral fricative:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bura[1] [example needed] Contrasts with [ɬ] and [ɮ].[1]
Dahalo [ʎ̝̊aːbu] 'leaf' Contrasts with [ɬ] and [ɬʷ]
Inupiaq[2] sikł̣aq [sikʎ̝̊˖ɑq] 'pickaxe' Alveolo-palatal;[2] also described as an approximant [ʎ̥˖].[3] Contrasts with voiceless /ɬ/ and voiced /ʎ/ and /l/.
nuiŋił̣ł̣uni [nuiŋiʎ̝̊˖ʎ̝̊˖uni] 'because it did not appear'


  1. ^ a b Grønnum (2005:154–155)
  2. ^ a b MacLean 1980, p. XX.
  3. ^ Kaplan 1981, p. 29.


See also[edit]