Liquids

1.2      Liquids

The grammarian Dionysius Thrax used the Greek word ὑγρός (hygrós, “moist”) to describe the sonorant consonants /l, r, m, n/ of classical Greek.[3] Most commentators assume that this referred to their “slippery” effect on meter in classical Greek verse when they occur as the second member of a consonant cluster.[3] This word was calqued into Latin as liquidus, whence it has been retained in the Western European phonetic tradition.