The letters l and r represent liquid consonants, the former lateral and the latter rhotic.
The liquid sounds are:
l: language, late, long.
r: right, ring, ruler.
To pronounce liquid consonants the tongue produces a partial closure in the mouth without constricting the flow of air enough to create turbulence or friction.
When pronouncing l, the tip of the tongue rests against the gum, the back of the tongue is slightly raised to the soft palate, the middle part of the tongue is reduced, the whole tongue becomes a spoon.
- l: voiced, vocal cords vibrate during the articulation of the consonant;
When pronouncing r, the tip of the tongue slightly bends upward, approaching the roots of the upper alveoli. The flow of air, passing through the mouth, makes the tip of the tongue vibrate, producing the sound.
- r: voiced, vocal cords vibrate during the articulation of the consonant.