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|Look up L, l, or ℓ in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
|Basic Latin alphabet|
|Egyptian hieroglyph||Proto-Semitic Lamd||Phoenician
Lamedh is believed to have come from a pictogram of an ox goad or cattle prod. Some have suggested a shepherd's staff.
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 [l] to represent) occurs before a vowel, as in lip or please, while the velarized alveolar lateral approximant (IPA [ɫ]) occurs in bell and milk (see Velarized alveolar lateral approximant). 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 /ɬ/) in Welsh, where it can appear in an initial position.
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
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 in mathematics and elsewhere. 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 lower-case form to the right and it is increasingly common, especially on European road signs and advertisements.
The EBCDIC code for capital L is 211 and for lowercase l is 147.
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- "L" Oxford English Dictionary, 2nd edition (1989) Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged. (1993); "el", "ells", op. cit.
ace:L af:L als:L ar:L an:L arc:L ast:L az:L zh-min-nan:L be:L, літара be-x-old:L (літара) bs:L br:L (lizherenn) ca:L cs:L co:L cy:L da:L de:L et:L el:L es:L eo:L eu:L fa:L fr:L (lettre) fy:L fur:L gv:Lhouan gd:L gl:L gan:L xal:L үзг ko:L hr:L id:L ilo:L is:L it:L he:L ka:L kw:L sw:L ht:L ku:L (tîp) la:L lv:L lb:L lt:L hu:L mk:L (Латиница) mr:L mzn:L ms:L my:L nah:L nl:L (letter) ja:L no:L nn:L nrm:L uz:L (harf) pl:L pt:L ro:L qu:L ru:L (латиница) se:L stq:L scn:L simple:L sk:L sl:L sr:L (слово латинице) sh:L fi:L sv:L tl:L th:L tr:L (harf) uk:L (латиниця) vec:L vi:L vo:L war:L yi:L yo:L zh-yue:L diq:L bat-smg:L zh:L