Lateral (egressive) consonants are made by obstructing the path of the airstream using some part of the tongue and directing it to escape the along the sides of the mouth. This gives lateral approximants like
/ɫ/ etc. their distinctive sound, different than the corresponding central approximants
j etc. Of course, the same principle applies to lateral fricatives, affricates and taps, which find use in a lot of languages. However, I have never seen a mention of lateral plosives. To me, it seems that they should exist – at least in principle. In fact, I think I can make what seem to be lateral plosives and even ejectives! So, is there really some physiological reason that makes lateral plosives impossible (i.e., what I am producing are something else), or are they never mentioned because no (living, known, attested, well-documented) language uses them?
Along the same lines, I have seen some stuff on laterally released (IPA
/◌ˡ/) plosives, such as the -ddle in middle
[ˈmɪdˡɫ̩]. Is this what I am calling a lateral plosive?