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Voiceless palatal lateral fricative
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)ʎ​̥​˔
Unicode (hex)U+028E U+0325 U+02D4
Voiceless palatal lateral approximant
IPA Number157 402A

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

This sound is somewhat rare; 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 proper has no dedicated symbol for this sound. The devoicing and raising diacritics may be used to transcribe it: ⟨ʎ̝̊⟩. However, the extIPA has the expected letter ⟨𝼆⟩:

Palatal lateral fricative.png

𝼆⟩ was added to Unicode in 2021.

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 ⟨ȴ̊˔⟩ (devoiced and raised ⟨ȴ⟩ can be used, which is an ordinary "l", plus the curl found in the symbols for alveolo-palatal sibilant fricatives ⟨ɕ, ʑ⟩).

Some scholars also posit the voiceless palatal lateral approximant distinct from the fricative. The approximant may be represented in the IPA as ⟨ʎ̥⟩.


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]
Faroese[2] kjálki [ˈt͡ʃʰaʎ̥t͡ʃɪ] 'jaw' Allophone of /l/.[2] See Faroese phonology
Inupiaq[3] sikł̣aq [sikʎ̝̊˖ɑq] 'pickaxe' Alveolo-palatal;[3] also described as an approximant.[4] Contrasts with voiceless /ɬ/ and voiced /ʎ/ and /l/.
nuiŋił̣ł̣uni [nuiŋiʎ̝̊˖ːuni] 'because it did not appear'
Kumeyaay[5] kałyəxwiiw [kɑʎ̝̊əxʷeːw] 'skunk' Rare in word-initial position.[5] Contrasts with voiceless /ɬ/ and voiced /ʎ/ and /l/.
Norwegian Trondheim subdialect of Trøndersk[6] alt [ɑʎ̥c] 'everything, all' Allophone of /ʎ/ before /c/.[6] See Norwegian phonology
Some subdialects of Trøndersk[6] tatle [tɑʎ̥] 'acting silly' According to some scholars,[7][8] it is a phoneme that contrasts with /ʎ/ (as in /tɑʎ/ 'softwood'.)[6] See Norwegian phonology
Turkish[9] dil [ˈd̪il̠̊ʲ] 'tongue' Devoiced allophone of alveolo-palatal /l/, frequent finally and before voiceless consonants.[9] See Turkish phonology
Xumi Lower[10] [ʎ̥˖o˦] 'spirit' Described as an approximant. Alveolo-palatal; contrasts with the voiced /ʎ/.[10][11]
Upper[11] [ʎ̥˖ɛ˦] 'flavorless'


  1. ^ a b Grønnum (2005), pp. 154–155.
  2. ^ a b Árnason (2011), p. 115.
  3. ^ a b MacLean (1980), p. XX.
  4. ^ Kaplan (1981), p. 29.
  5. ^ a b Langdon (1966), p. 33.
  6. ^ a b c d Vanvik (1979), p. 37.
  7. ^ Such as Vanvik (1979)
  8. ^ An example of a scholar disagreeing with this position is Scholtz (2009). On page 15, she provides a phoneme chart for Trøndersk, in which /ʎ/ is included. Under the phoneme chart she writes "Vanvik also lists /ʎ̥/ as an underlying phoneme, but that’s ridiculous." She provides no further explanation for that.
  9. ^ a b Zimmer & Orgun (1999), pp. 154–155.
  10. ^ a b Chirkova & Chen (2013), pp. 365, 367–368.
  11. ^ a b Chirkova, Chen & Kocjančič Antolík (2013), pp. 382–383.


  • Árnason, Kristján (2011), The Phonology of Icelandic and Faroese, Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-922931-4
  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya (2013), "Xumi, Part 1: Lower Xumi, the Variety of the Lower and Middle Reaches of the Shuiluo River", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (3): 363–379, doi:10.1017/S0025100313000157
  • Chirkova, Katia; Chen, Yiya; Kocjančič Antolík, Tanja (2013), "Xumi, Part 2: Upper Xumi, the Variety of the Upper Reaches of the Shuiluo River", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 43 (3): 381–396, doi:10.1017/S0025100313000169
  • Grønnum, Nina (2005), Fonetik og fonologi, Almen og Dansk (3rd ed.), Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag, ISBN 87-500-3865-6
  • MacLean, Edna Ahgeak (1980), Iñupiallu Tanņiḷḷu Uqaluņisa Iḷaņich = Abridged Iñupiaq and English Dictionary (PDF), Fairbanks, Alaska: Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska, p. xvii-xx, retrieved 20 December 2017
  • Kaplan, Lawrence D. (1981), Phonological Issues in North Alaskan Inupiaq (PDF), Fairbanks, Alaska: Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska, p. 21-29, retrieved 20 December 2017
  • Scholtz, Anna (2009), A phonetic study of the status of three mergers in the Trøndersk dialect of Norwegian (PDF), Williamstown, Massachusetts: Williams College
  • Vanvik, Arne (1979), Norsk fonetikk, Oslo: Universitetet i Oslo, ISBN 82-990584-0-6
  • Zimmer, Karl; Orgun, Orhan (1999), "Turkish", Handbook of the International Phonetic Association: A guide to the use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 154–158, ISBN 0-521-65236-7

See also