L (named el )
["L" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989) Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. (1993); "el", "ells", op. cit.] is the twelfth letter of the English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet, used in words such as lagoon, lantern, and less.
Lamedh may have come from a pictogram of an ox goad or cattle prod. Some have suggested a shepherd's staff.
Use in writing systems
Phonetic and phonemic transcription
In phonetic and phonemic transcription, the International Phonetic Alphabet uses to represent the lateral alveolar approximant.
In English orthography, usually represents the phoneme , which can have several sound values, depending on the speaker's accent, and whether it occurs before or after a vowel. The alveolar lateral approximant (the sound represented in IPA by lowercase ) occurs before a vowel, as in lip
, while the velarized alveolar lateral approximant (IPA ) occurs in bell
. This velarization does not occur in many European languages that use ; it is also a factor making the pronunciation of difficult for users of languages that lack or have different values for it, such as Japanese or some southern dialects of Chinese language
. A medical condition or speech impediment restricting the pronunciation of is known as lambdacism
In English orthography, is often silent in such words as walk or could (though its presence can modify the preceding vowel letter's sound), and it is usually silent in such words as palm and psalm; however, there is some regional variation.
usually represents the sound or some other lateral consonant.
Common digraphs include , which has a value identical to in English, but has the separate value voiceless alveolar lateral fricative (IPA ) in Welsh language, where it can appear in an initial position. In Spanish, represents ʎ, j, ʝ, ɟʝ, or ʃ, depending on dialect.
A palatal lateral approximant or palatal (IPA ) occurs in many languages, and is represented by in Italian language, in Spanish language and Catalan language, in Portuguese, and in Latvian language.
The capital letter L is used as the currency sign for the Albanian lek
and the Honduran lempira
. It was often used, especially in handwriting, as the currency sign for the Italian lira
. It is also infrequently used as a substitute for the pound sign
(£), which is based on it.
The Roman numeral Ⅼ represents the number 50.
Gordon, Arthur E. (1983
, University of California Press.
. ISBN 9780520038981
Forms and variants
In some sans-serif
fonts (i.e., typefaces), the lowercase letter ell
may be difficult to distinguish from the uppercase letter eye
or the digit one
. Too avoid such confusion, some newer fonts have a finial, a curve to the right at the bottom of the lowercase letter ell
Another means of reducing such confusion, increasingly common on European road signs and in advertisements, uses a cursive, handwriting-style lowercase letter ell . A special letter-like symbol is sometimes used for this purpose in mathematics and elsewhere. In Unicode, this symbol is with HTML numeric character reference &#8467;. In Japan, for example, this is the symbol for the Litre. However, the International System of Units recommends using Unicode symbols or for the liter.
Another solution, sometimes seen in Web typography, uses a serif font for the lowercase letter ell, such as , in otherwise sans-serif text.
Descendants and related characters in the Latin alphabet
IPA-specific symbols related to L:
Uralic Phonetic Alphabet-specific symbols related to L:
ₗ : Subscript small l was used in the Uralic Phonetic Alphabet prior to its formal standardization in 1902
ȴ : L with curl is used in Sino-Tibetanist linguistics
Ꞁ ꞁ : Turned L was used by William Pryce to designate the Welsh voiced lateral spirant ɬ
Other variations are used for phonetic transcription:
ᶅ ᶩ ᶪ ᶫ
Ꝇ ꝇ : Broken L was used in some medieval Nordic manuscripts
Teuthonista phonetic transcription-specific symbols related to R:
L with : Ĺ ĺ Ł ł Ľ ľ Ḹ ḹ L̃ l̃ Cedilla Ŀ ŀ Ḷ ḷ Ḻ ḻ Ḽ ḽ Ƚ ƚ Ⱡ ⱡ
Derived signs, symbols and abbreviations
ℒ ℓ : Script letter L (capital and lowercase, respectively)
£ : pound sign
₤ : lira sign
Ꝉ ꝉ : Forms of L were used for medieval scribal abbreviations
Ancestors and siblings in other alphabets
𐤋 : Semitic letter Lamedh, from which the following symbols originally derive