I've seen nothing on a trilled "L" sound anywhere. I've tried producing the trilled "L" sound and I can get something that seems similar. Is it possible to trill an "L" and if so are there any languages that use this sound?

  • It's hard to figure out how such a trill might work with lateral egressive lung air. There is an ingressive lateral in the Australian ritual language Damin, expressed /l*/ [ɬ↓ʔ]. But this isn't a trill, though it is lateral.
    – jlawler
    Commented Jun 16, 2013 at 23:23

3 Answers 3


It seems to me that lateral and trill are mutually exclusive - trills require repeated opening and fully closing, while laterals require a state of half-closure. If you drop the sides of your tongue to make a lateral, you make trilling impossible.

There are lateral flaps, though, which seem to be not uncommon - Japanese has one, /ɺ/.


There is an Alveolar Lateral Trill, it has this symbol; /rˡ/ and there a video of it; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr4_zYBRaWY&api_format=3&vndel=watch&app=desktop


I can do something I'd categorize as trilled L: I close the air flow in my mouth by placing my tongue behind my upper teeth; then I blow the air out, creating very small opening on the sides. It sounds like a child mimicking a fart :/ It can be either a trill or fricative, depending on how the air gets out. So, I think it's possible. :-) I've never seen it in any language.

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