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The meaning of «ll»

Ll/ll is a digraph that occurs in several natural languages.

In English, ⟨ll⟩ often represents the same sound as single ⟨l⟩: /l/. The doubling is used to indicate that the preceding vowel is (historically) short, or that the "l" sound is to be extended longer than a single ⟨l⟩ would provide (etymologically, in latinisms coming from a gemination). It is worth noting that different English language traditions use ⟨l⟩ and ⟨ll⟩ in different words: for example the past tense form of "travel" is spelt "travelled" in British English but "traveled" in American English. See also: American and British English spelling differences#Doubled consonants.

In Welsh, ⟨ll⟩ stands for a voiceless alveolar lateral fricative sound (IPA: /ɬ/). This sound is very common in place names in Wales because it occurs in the word Llan, for example, Llanelli, where the ⟨ll⟩ appears twice, or Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, where the ⟨ll⟩ appears three times.

In Welsh, ⟨ll⟩ is a separate digraph letter[2] from ⟨l⟩ (e.g., lwc sorts before llaw). In modern Welsh this, and other digraph letters, are written with two symbols but count as one letter. In Middle Welsh it was written with a tied ligature; this ligature is included in the Latin Extended Additional Unicode block at U+1EFA (uppercase) and U+1EFB (lowercase), displaying as and respectively.[3] This ligature is seldom used in Modern Welsh, but equivalent ligatures may be included in modern fonts, for example the three fonts commissioned by the Welsh Government in 2020.[4]

In Spanish, ⟨ll⟩ was considered from 1754 to 2010 the fourteenth letter of the Spanish alphabet because of its representation of a palatal lateral articulation consonant phoneme (as defined by the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language).[5]

In official Galician spelling the ⟨ll⟩ combination stands for the phoneme /ʎ/ (palatal lateral approximant, a palatal counterpart of /l/).

In Catalan, ⟨ll⟩ represents the phoneme /ʎ/. For example, as in llengua (language, tongue), enllaç (linkage, connection), or coltell (knife).

In order to not confuse ⟨ll⟩ /ʎ/ with a geminated ⟨l⟩ /ll/, Catalan uses an ⟨l⟩ with a middle dot (punt volat in Catalan or interpunct) in the digraph ⟨ŀl⟩, for example exceŀlent (excellent). The first character in the digraph, ⟨Ŀ⟩ and ⟨ŀ⟩, is included in the Latin Extended-A Unicode block at U+013F (uppercase) and U+140 (lowercase) respectively.

In Catalan typography, ⟨l·l⟩ is intended to fill two spaces, not three,[7] so the interpunct is placed in the narrow space between the two ⟨l⟩s: ⟨ĿL⟩ and ⟨ŀl⟩. However, it is common to write ⟨L·L⟩ and ⟨l·l⟩, occupying three spaces. ⟨L.L⟩ and ⟨l.l⟩, although sometimes seen, are incorrect.

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Choice of words

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lla* llb* llc* lld* lle* llf* llg* llh* lli* llj* llk* lll* llm* lln* llo* llp* llq* llr* lls* llt* llu* llv* llw* llx* lly* llz*
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