A place of articulation; Refers to either the lower or upper lip as an articulator. The use of these together constitutes ‘bilabial’ articulation.
Labiodental refers to a place of articulation (POA). The primary constriction is between the lower lip and upper teeth (/f, v/). Compare ‘fee’ /fi/, a labiodental, with ‘see’ /si/ a non-labiodental.
A lapse is a relatively long pause or silence in a conversation between interlocutors due to none of the participants taking a turn.
Lative case is a grammatical case that expresses motion to a location. It is particularly typical of the Uralic languages, and corresponds to the English prepositions ‘to’ and ‘into’.
In the context of phonetics, length refers to the amount of time it takes to produce a sound.
A lenis consonant is a type of consonant produced by the lack of tension in the vocal apparatus. Thus referred to as ‘weak’ consonants, they tend to be short, weakly voiced or voiceless, aspirated, low, and the following vowel also tends to be lengthened.
A lexeme is an abstract concept that commonly appears in psycholinguistic and morphological theory. It refers to the minimal unit of language containing semantic content and distinct cultural concepts. A single lexeme may include several words that are interrelated semantically and share a common root and/or phonological characteristics.
A lexical category is a syntactic category for elements that are part of the lexicon of a language (for example, nouns and verbs constitute two major lexical categories. Often synonymous with ‘part of speech’, ‘word class’, ‘grammatical category’, or ‘grammatical class’.
A lexical database is an organized list and description of the lexemes of a language. Its purpose is to attempt to approximate the lexicon of a native speaker by taking inventory of morphemes and information about their meanings.
Lexical tone refers to the pitch level carried by the syllable of a word. Semantic information is encoded in and conveyed by lexical tones.
A lexicon is the sum of knowledge that a speaker has about a language (including information possessed unconsciously). It refers to all knowledge pertaining to a language’s inventory of lexemes, including information about the form and meanings of words and phrases, lexical categorization, the appropriate usage of words and phrases, relationships between words and phrases, and the categories of words and phrases. Phonological and grammatical rules are not considered part of the lexicon.
A liquid is a phoneme classification that includes articulations that are mid-way between true consonants (i.e. stops, fricatives, affricates, and nasals) and vowels; However, liquids are generally classified as consonants. Includes all l-like and r-like articulations (/l, r/).
Litotes is a figure of speech that uses understatement or double negatives with the goal of emphatically affirming the positive. ex: “You are not unlike your friend,” or “I cannot disagree with that.”
Locative case is a grammatical case that identifies the location or spatial orientation at the referent of the noun that it marks. It is less commonly referred to as ‘adessive case’.