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Re: back to "rhotic miscellany" (was: Need some help with terms: was "rhotic miscellany")

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Monday, November 8, 2004, 1:25
----- Original Message -----
From: "caeruleancentaur" <caeruleancentaur@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2004 3:52 PM
Subject: Re: back to "rhotic miscellany" (was: Need some help with terms:
was "rhotic miscellany")

> --- In, Roger Mills <rfmilly@M...> wrote: > >>Is our /r/ retroflexed? Try these experiments (valid at least for >>Murkins): > >>Say "cod" or "hod"-- notice where the tongue tip ends up. Now >>say "card" or "hard". Unless I miss my guess, you will see that >>the "d" is now articulated noticeably further back. You will also >>feel, I think, that the d of cod etc. involves more of the tongue >>blade, whereas the d of card is more apical Same with "lodge" >>vs. "large", no? (And needless to say, same with final -t and [-tS] >>words.) > > Quite right to a point. But this time I stuck my finger in my mouth > to find the tip of my tongue. It is definitely not retroflexed but > points straight ahead. Yes, the "d" of "cod" is articulated a > bit "post-tip." But the reason my "d" of "card" is articulated > farther back on the alveolus is that the "r" pulls the whole tongue > back toward my palate. But it doesn't make make the tongue tip > retroflex. > > This is fascinating! > > Charlie
Yes it is! If you don't mind my asking, I wonder where you're from in the States (are you from the States?). I was born in the midwest, was moved to southern California when I was five, came to Upstate New York nineteen years ago. My maternal grandparents are southern: South Carolina and Alabama. My paternal grandparents were the children of German immigrants who settled in Michigan. My pronunciation may be more Californian than Eastern Seaboard but my mother, who was teased mercilously for her accent when she moved to Chicago, adopted a kind of "American radio announcer diction." Your description suggests to me that you pronounce your "r" ever so much more "softly" than I do (by "soft" I mean with not so much tongue curling. Is there a new term we can invent for "retroflex"? :) apical flexion? so that we can speak of various Americans [and Brits] as having more or less apical flexion in the pronunciation of "r"?) I'm beginning to wonder if a true Eastern Seaboard accent includes the kind of "r" you and John describe: not so relaxed that others hear it as an absence of "r" but not so curled as a Chicagoan "r." S. Sally