Lateral Approximant Consonant Sound
– The English sound /l/ has two common variations in GB English:
Clear ‘l’ (/l/ before a vowel): law, leaf, holler, melon
Dark ‘l’ (/l/ at the end or before a consonant): all, feel, holding, mel
What is a lateral approximant?
- Lateral approximants are made by releasing air down the sides of the tongue.
- In both /l/ sounds, the tongue tip touches the alveolar ridge and the air escapes down the sides.
- Dark /l/ also involves raising the back of the tongue towards the velum.
- /l/ is clear before a vowel sound & the consonant /j/.
- In all other positions /l/ is dark, which is transcribed phonetically as [ɫ].
lots, lean, lorry, lift, lob, allow, least, low, laugh, Ealing, listen, letting, alloy, flow, slide, clip, play
old, sold, kneel, hall, elbow, told, foals, mole, mould, hospital, teal, peel, reel, all, tall, fall, cold, fold
Repeat the following:
A. Lily loves playing lacrosse with Larry
B. Letting agents are not allowed in Ealing
C. Lob at least eleven lemons in the lemon cake, Lucy!
D. Can Paul call tall Phil on his mobile?
E. The soles of these heels have gone all mouldy!
F. Kneel down on the old pale carpet in the hospital’s hall.