From Proto-Athabaskan *ɬ (progressive suffix), from Proto-Na-Dene *ɬ (progressive suffix); cognate with Proto-Yeniseian *l (progressive suffix), Eyak *ɬ (progressive suffix), and Tlingit *n (progressive suffix). The same or a similar classifier prefix is found in all of the Athabaskan languages, as well as the more distantly related Eyak, Tlingit, and the Central Siberian Yeniseian languages (e.g., Ket, formerly Yenisei Ostyak).
- The -ł- classifier or valence-change prefix, a causative-transitivizing prefix of active verbs that modifies the transitivity or valence and grammatical voice of a verb. It often transitivizes an intransitive -Ø- (unmarked) verb:
- yibéézh ― it’s boiling (yi-Ø-béézh)
- yiłbéézh ― he’s boiling it (yi-ł-béézh)
- naʼniyęęsh ― something flows about in a meandering fashion (naʼni-Ø-yęęsh)
- naʼniłhęęsh ― he’s making it flow about in a meandering fashion (naʼni-ł-yęęsh)
- siʼą́ ― a roundish object lies in position (-Ø-ʼą́)
- séłʼą́ ― I keep a roundish object in position (-ł-ʼą́)
- a consonant that sometimes appears as a ligature between the elements of a compound word.