Pronunciation of "L" in "Ali"


Senior Member
Greek - Greece
Hi everyone!

I understand that there are basically two allophones of "L" in Turkish. However, I have the feeling it's pronounced totally different in "Ali" [maybe in similar words, too(?)]. It mostly sounds like the Italian "gl" / Portuguese "lh" to me. Am I right to believe so or is it just my untrained ear?

Thank you!
  • Rallino

    Some speakers might indeed pronounce it that way, but it's regional/personal. In standard speech, it's just the regular soft allophone of L.


    Senior Member
    Yep, you are right! Turkish /L/ has two allophones which are realized differently in different environments; [ l ] and [ ɬ ].

    As a general rule,

    [ l ] occurs in the environment of vowels "e", "i", "ö", "ü", and word initial positions.
    [ ɬ ] occurs in the environment of vowels "a", "ı", "o", "u", except word initially.

    English /L/ has also the same two allophones, but the distribution of the allopohes is different from that of Turkish. Similar to Turkish, [ l ] occurs with vowels such as "i", "e" and [ ɬ ] with vowels such as "a", "o" and "u". But unlike Turkish, [ ɬ ] occurs in word-final position regardles of the preceding vowel.

    Quoted from "Turkish Phonology and Morphology" by Anadolu Üniversitesi.

    Hope it is of help.


    Senior Member
    English - UK
    It's important to note that these are not entirely allophonic. Native Turkish words follow these rules, but for the most part only [ l ] appears in foreign words regardless of its environment.