Lateral (phonetics)

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A lateral ( Latin laterālis , lateral ; also lateral sound or German side sound ) is a speech sound in which the articulatory overcoming mode is not located on the arrow seam of the oral cavity as in the sagittals , but on the sides.

When laterals are formed, there is usually no noise-causing constriction along the tongue muscle.

The acoustic impression of all lateral sounds is that of an l .

Most lateral sounds are approximants , but there are also fricative laterals:

There are also connections between plosives and laterals. With these so-called affricates , the closure of the actual plosive does not take place completely, but changes to the subsequent fricative.

The lateral affricates are heterogeneous affricates:

  • voiceless alveolar-lateral affricates [⁠ ⁠]
  • aspirated voiceless alveolar-lateral affricates [⁠ tɬʰ ⁠]
  • Voiced alveolar-lateral affricates [⁠ ⁠]

Lateral and r-sounds used to be combined as liquids .