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Dental, alveolar and postalveolar lateral flaps

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Title: Dental, alveolar and postalveolar lateral flaps  
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Subject: Lateral consonants
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Dental, alveolar and postalveolar lateral flaps

Alveolar lateral flap
IPA number 181
Entity (decimal) ɺ
Unicode (hex) U+027A
Kirshenbaum *
Braille ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236) ⠼ (braille pattern dots-3456)

The alveolar lateral flap is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ɺ, a fusion of a rotated lowercase letter r with a letter l.

Some languages that are described as having a lateral flap, such as Japanese, actually have a flap that is indeterminate with respect to centrality, and may surface as either central or lateral, either in free variation or allophonically depending on surrounding vowels and consonants.


  • Features 1
  • Occurrence 2
    • Dental 2.1
    • Alveolar 2.2
    • Postalveolar 2.3
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5


Features of the alveolar lateral flap:



Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Chaga[1] Laminal dental.[1]


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Japanese[2] /kokoro     'heart' See Japanese phonology
Pirahã toogixi [tòːɺ͡ɺ̼ìʔì] 'hoe' Only used in some types of speech
Wayuu püülükü [pɯːɺɯkɯ] 'pig' Contrasts with /r/

The variable Japanese sound has been transcribed with an l–ɾ ligature, lɾ.[3]


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Norwegian Trøndersk[4] glas [ˈɡɺ̠ɑːs] 'glass' Realization of the tjukk l according to Grønnum (2005). See Norwegian phonology
O'odham[1] Apical.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 213.
  2. ^ Okada (1991), p. ?.
  3. ^ Rei Fukui (2004) version 1.3ManualTIPA
  4. ^ Grønnum (2005), p. 155.


  • Grønnum, Nina (2005), Fonetik og fonologi, Almen og Dansk (3rd ed.), Copenhagen: Akademisk Forlag,  
  • Okada, Hideo (1991), "Japanese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 21 (2): 94–97,  
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