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Voiceless palatal lateral fricative

Voiceless palatal lateral fricative
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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: ʎ̥˔ (decimal ʎ̥˔). However, the "belt" on the existing symbol for a voiceless lateral fricative, ɬ, forms the basis for occasional ad hoc symbols for the other lateral fricatives, the third one, , representing the palatal lateral fricative:

File:Lateral fricatives.png

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


Features of the voiceless palatal lateral fricative:

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  • 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 lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Bura[1] Contrasts with [ɬ] and [ɮ].[1]
Dahalo [ʎ̥˔aːbu] 'leaf' Contrasts with [ɬ] and [ɬʷ]


  1. ^ a b Grønnum (2005:154–155)



See also