L


L

L is the twelfth letter of the Latin alphabet. Its name in English is el or occasionally ell (pronEng|ɛl). ["L" "Oxford English Dictionary," 2nd edition (1989); "Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged" (1993); "el," op. cit.]

History

The letter L is derived ultimately from the Semitic crook or goad which stood for IPA|/l/. This originally may have been based on an Egyptian hieroglyph that was adapted by Semites for alphabetic purposes. The Greek letter Lambda Λ (upper case) or λ (lower case), as well as the equivalent Etruscan and Latin letters, represent the same sound as the Semitic letter. In reference, it is spelled el or ell.

Pronunciation

In English, "L" can have several values, depending on whether it occurs before or after a vowel. The alveolar lateral approximant (the sound which the IPA uses the lowercase IPA| [l] to represent) occurs before a vowel, as in "lip" or "please", while the velarized alveolar lateral approximant (IPA IPA| [ɫ] ) occurs in "bell" and "milk" (see Dark L). This velarization does not occur in many European languages that use "L"; it is also a factor making the pronunciation of "L" difficult for users of languages that either lack, or have different values, for "L", such as Japanese or some southern dialects of Chinese.

"L" can occur before almost any plosive, fricative, or affricate in English. Common digraphs include "LL", which has a value identical to "L" in English, but has the separate value voiceless alveolar lateral fricative (IPA IPA|/ɬ/) in Welsh, where it can appear in an initial position.

A palatal "L" (IPA IPA|/ʎ/) occurs in many languages, and is represented by "GL" in Italian, "LL" in certain varieties of Spanish, "LH" in Portuguese, and "Ļ" in Latvian.

In English writing, "L" is often silent in such words as "walk" or "could" (its presence modifies other letters' sounds, i.e. 'wak' might be more likely to be pronounced such that it would rhyme with 'back').

Codes for computing

Letter
NATO=Lima
Morse=·–··
Character=L
Braille=⠇
In Unicode the capital L is codepoint U+004C and the lowercase l is U+006C. In some fonts, a lowercase l may be difficult to distinguish from a 1(one) or an uppercase letter I(i). A more stylized version based on the handwritten ℓ is sometimes used - this is often used as a suffix on a number to represent litres. Its codepoint is U+2113 and its numeric character reference is "ℓ". Capital I(i) can also be hard to distinguish from a lowercase l(L), as many fonts use a vertical bar for both of these characters. In recent times, many new fonts have curved the lowercase form to the right and is increasingly common, especially on European road signs and advertisements.

The ASCII code for capital L is 76 and for lowercase l is 108; or in binary 01001100 and 01101100, correspondingly.

The EBCDIC code for capital L is 211 and for lowercase l is 147.

The numeric character references in HTML and XML are "L" and "l" for upper and lower case respectively.

ee also


*Ll
*£
*Л, л - El (Cyrillic)
*Λ, λ - Lambda (Greek)

References

af:L
als:L
ar:L
arc:L
ast:L
az:L
bs:L
ca:L
cs:L
co:L
cy:L
da:L
de:L
el:L
es:L
eo:L
eu:L
fa:L
fur:L
gan:L
gd:L
gl:L
ko:L
hr:L
ilo:L
is:L
it:L
he:L
ka:L
kw:L
sw:L
ht:L
la:L
lv:L
lt:L
hu:L
mzn:L
ms:L
nah:L
ja:L
no:L
nn:L
nrm:L
pl:L
pt:L
ro:L
qu:L
se:L
scn:L
simple:L
sk:L
sl:L
fi:L
sv:L
tl:L
th:L
vi:L
vec:L
vo:L
yo:L
zh-yue:L
bat-smg:L
zh:L


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