Starting to learn the IPA and having a few questions. One is about the L sound. Here are the L sounds I've seen:
- ɬ (No language uses this).
- ɫ: both velarization and pharyngealization
- lˠ (velarized lateral).
- lˤ (pharyngealized lateral).
Sidenote: Wondering how the l̥ is pronounced in English. If it is just a whisper with your mouth in the L position.
I don't understand any of them except the first one. I can sort of hear the difference of the dark ɫ, but it doesn't seem like enough to mean a different letter sound, just a different way of saying L.
But the shape of the L means putting the tip of your tongue at the front roof of your mouth, not touching the teeth. Then you voice it, and press air around the the tongue. But if you just left it at that it sounds barely different than a
nggg.... So you finish it off by whipping your tongue off the roof to say "lah" or "luh". That gives it (to me at least) the "L sound".
My questions are, if there is a way to pronounce the L without that last "finishing it off" part (giving the aspirated "lah" or "luh"). It seems that by itself you can't not aspirate it, but when it is part of a word like
hello it doesn't get aspirated and instead is just basically a transition between two vowels. But the "clicking" or "snapping" of the L seems to play a part in the L sound. So wanted to see if there is a name for that snappiness, and the terminology around the part that: you aspirate when saying the letter by itself, but don't aspirate it when it's part of a word like
The second question is, if it is related to the S or T or D sounds. I've seen T and D related as the same mouth shape yet just voiceless vs. voiced. It seems S is the same mouth shape but your tongue never touches the roof of the mouth. Then it seems L and D are almost exactly the same, but it just seems that with the L you are rolling the tongue off the roof, while in the D it is more of an air-pressured snap (an ejective, voiced T perhaps, I'm wondering). So I'm trying to name the L and the S relative to the T. I understand their IPA terminology (voiceless avioloar). But it's like: L = approximant, S = sibilant, T = stop. Also L has the word "lateral" in the IPA description. I guess the difference between approximant and sibilant is that the L doesn't produce turbulence, while the S does. Also, the L is a "lateral consonant", so the air goes to the sides, while the S it goes down the middle. Let me know if there are any other major differences.
The final part of the question is if there are any "equivalent" sounds to the L in different parts of the mouth. Similar to how there is the
t sounds in different parts that are similar (voiceless, popping sounds). Maybe the
ng is one of them. Would be interested to know the others.