Middle Eastern words for “no” start with an L. In Hebrew it is “lo” and in other Middle Eastern languages it ranges to “lah”. Essentially, the English use an N to express negativity and the Middle Eastern languages employ the L.
However, L and N are very close linguistic relatives in formation. Say Ellen. Notice how your tongue moves and where it ends up in el and en. Now try this. Say el while pinching your nose. Really! Now try the en the same way. The difference between L and N becomes clear. With N, the closure in the mouth is complete. With L, there is air that can flow around the tongue.
This closure, full or partial, inspired the association with negativity with these similar consonants. And I believe it was infants ( ninos in Spanish ) that first created this association to turn down breast milk when they were full. If you read any list of basic English L-words, most of them seem related in concept to either negativity, lifting or light. There’s a lot more on this discussion in my book “Deciphering the English Code” .
Some basic negative English L-words are listed below.
LOSS, LOSE, LOUSE, LEFT (the weaker hand), LAME, LESS
LACK, LAG, LIMP
LONE, LOATH, LOOSE, LAZY, LATE, LAMENT, LEAVE
LOW, LOWER, LOATH, LIE
So English L-words usually describe things or actions related to lifting or lowering. The lower case “l” is a line which points up and down, reflecting these two basic associations.