15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)
[l] has three fairly general distinguishing articulatory features where it differs from the otherwise related coronals [t], [d], [n], and [s]: It tends to be velarised, to be apical more often in contrast to laminal, and to be produced with a low mandibular position. These characteristics seem to be common enough globally to raise the question if there may be a connection between them. We propose that these features are connected, with the following causal chain: the lateral transverse compression gesture makes the tongue longer and vertically thicker and causes the tendency of velarisation; to avoid velarisation, the jaw is lowered; a lower jaw is connected with a higher frequency of apical as contrasted to laminal gestures.
Bibliographic reference. Lindblad, Per / Lundqvist, Sture (2003): "[l] tends to be velarised, apical as opposed to laminal, and produced with a low jaw, and these features are connected", In ICPhS-15, 1899-1902.