Voiced retroflex lateral approximant
IPA Number156
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ɭ
Unicode (hex)U+026D
Braille⠲ (braille pattern dots-256)⠇ (braille pattern dots-123)

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] Goinoitan Latin Alphabet.


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 / falhoa [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 बा [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⟩.
Paiwan[8] ladjap [ˈɭaɖap] 'lightning' or 'flash' See Paiwan phonology
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[9] ஆள் [äːɭ] 'person' Represented by a ள். See Tamil phonology
Telugu నీళ్ళు [niːɭːu] 'water' Represented by a

See also


  1. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 198.
  2. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 192.
  3. ^ a b Masica (1991), p. 97.
  4. ^ Anjos (2012), p. 128.
  5. ^ Jiang (2010), pp. 16–17.
  6. ^ "Malayalam: a Grammatical Sketch and a Text" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-05-30. Retrieved 2023-12-10.
  7. ^ a b Sadowsky et al. (2013), p. 90.
  8. ^ "ladjap". Online Aboriginal Language Dictionary (in Chinese (Taiwan)). Indigenous Languages Research and Development Foundation. Retrieved 2022-09-04.
  9. ^ Keane (2004), p. 111.