Rhoticity (Was: Several phonetic questions)
|From:||Josh Brandt-Young <vionau@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, January 18, 2003, 10:53|
Quoth Muke Tever:
>> What is a rhotic? I've heard somewhere that r sounds are called rhotics,
>> but I rarely hear that term used. Are [r]  [r\] [r'] [r\'] [R\] and [R]
>> all rhotics?
> If it sounds like an r, it's rhotic. I have no idea how this works.
Rhoticity has to do, in phonetic terminology, with a lowering of the third
formant frequency in a characteristic way. For words with the American /r/
in them, if you view them on a spectrogram you'll see the third formant
swoop down dramatically and then rise up again. All sounds which cause this
phenomenon, then, would tend to be classified as rhotic; but in fact, Muke's
analysis is probably the one most frequently used in the world of language
study: it's rhotic if it sounds rhotic.
I'm not sure whether all the "r" symbols listed above would be formally
considered "rhotic"--I'd plug in my microphone and find out but it's in the
other room and I'm feeling lazy. :)
Josh Brandt-Young <vionau@...>
"After the tempest I behold, once more, the weasel."
(Mispronunciation of Ancient Greek)