L sounds

Some other tip-of-the-tongue consonants are the three l sounds of Nuu-chah-nulth: ł ƛ ƛ̓. None of these is the same as the English l sound, but they all have some l quality. Here are some brief descriptions of these sounds:

LetterNameHow it is pronounced
łbarred la hissed l, as in clear, wealth, or athlete
ƛbarred lambdalike tl, as in Atlantic
ƛ̓hard barred lambdaan explosive tl

To make the barred l (ł) sound, put your tongue in the same position you would to make an English l. But instead of humming, as you would for l, hiss past your tongue. This is why we sometimes call this consonant a "hissed l". We sometimes hear a sound like this in English when an l is pronounced next to a hissing sound, as in the words wealth and athlete.

To make the barred lambda (ƛ) sound, pronounce a t sound, closely followed by an l, as in Atlantic. This sound is often written in English as cl or kl, but it is closer to tl. The hard barred lambda is discussed later in the tutorial, along with the other hard plosives.

Here are some examples:

hiłatƛanitsplitting wedge
wałyuuat homełaakšiƛplease
huułhuułdancingnuučanłmountain range, Nuu-chah-nulth
hiłatƛanatsplitting wedge
wałyaqiłat homełaakšiƛplease
huułhuuładancingnuučaan̓ułmountain range, Nuu-chah-nulth

Click to continue.