Palatal lateral flap

The palatal lateral flap is a rare type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. There is no dedicated symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound. However, the symbol for a palatal lateral approximant with a breve denoting extra-short ʎ̆ may be used, or with the diacritic placed under the letter to avoid the ascender, ʎ̮.

Palatal lateral flap
ʎ̆
ʎ̮

Features

Features of the alveolar lateral flap:

  • Its manner of articulation is tap or flap, which means it is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator (usually the tongue) is thrown against another.
  • Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
  • 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.

Occurrence

The Iwaidja and Ilgar languages of Australia have a palatal lateral flap as well as alveolar and retroflex lateral flaps. However, the palatal flap has not been shown to be phonemic; it may instead be an underlying sequence /ɺj/. An example from Ilgar is the personal name [miʎ̆arɡu].

Notes

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