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[r] and its relatives // was Changing CXS

From:Morgan Palaeo Associates <morganpalaeo@...>
Date:Friday, January 30, 2004, 2:15
John Cowan wrote:

> I write [r\] for my rhotic AmEng "r" not because it's shorter, but because > I do not pronounce this letter retroflex. Perhaps I should use [@_^`], > (non-syllabic rhotacized schwa) instead, but it's a lot less readable.
As I've just mentioned in another post, rhoticity is something I still have unresolved questions about. Let's first of all take the phone 'r' as in 'rabbit', which I'll call /r/ for now. Extensive introspection makes me quite certain that the fundamental difference between /r/ and x-sampa [}_^] ( or [H] if you prefer ) is some quality of articulation that is neither height nor front-backness. Furthermore, while I have not been able to pin down the precise articulatory characteristic of /r/, I know that it involves a greater pressure of my tongue upon my upper molars. And when there's an articulatory quality I don't understand *and* an IPA symbol I don't understand (rhoticity), it's tempting to leap to the conclusion that they must belong hand in hand. But everyone keeps telling me that rhotacisation is an exotic American pecularity. So I don't understand it. Adrian.