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Re: 'rhotic plosives' (was: laterals)

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Thursday, February 12, 2004, 8:12
Quoting Joe <joe@...>:

> Javier BF wrote: > > >>Doesn't work, because I'm physically unable to carry out the tongue > >>movements > >>involved in making a [d] with trill frequency. [r] may be acoustically > >>identical to a quick succesion of [d]'s, but not articulatorily. > >> > >> > > > >There seems to be a certain amount of people with > >a natural inability or difficulty in pronouncing > >certain sounds (especially alveolar plosive trills) > >even though they may happen to be native speakers > >of languages where those occur. Maybe you are one > >of those, or else you simply find it too difficult > >because you aren't used to pronouncing it. > > > > > > You've misunderstood him. He means that he simply could not pronounce > a trill the same way he would a sequence of [d]s.
Indeed. An alveolar trill, as such, is quite easy for me, despite not occuring in my native speech. Quoting Javier BF <uaxuctum@...>:
> In d's and t's, the movement of the tongue is fully > under conscious control, while it is less so in a > tap and much less so in a trill, where the movement > is actually performed by the airstream pressure, > because there's no way you can have your tongue > tip vibrating at a trill frequence by means of > a conscious muscular movement.
That was my point. [r] is not a sped up version of a succession of [d]'s.
> Here you can find some tips on how to pronounce > trills: > >
[snip] Given the recent thread about the sublaminal postalveolar (AKA retroflex) trill occuring in my native speech (and which I tend to substitute English approximants with!), I find this splendidly ironic.
> >> If there is an effective closure, the plosion > >> is produced _by necessity_. > > > >In theory yes, but at some point the pressure difference becomes so small > you > >can't notice it. > > I'd say the difference between the plosive 'rr' and > the fricative 'rz' is easily noticeable, so even though > the plosive pressure in 'rr' is not as high as in 'd' > you can still detect there are plosions and not merely > frication or frictionless air flow.
Having heard little Czech, I can't really comment on that. I've heard mutlipe deviant descriptions of how r-hacek is actually pronounced.
> >> Just don't define a flap in terms of degree of closure > >> but in terms of rhoticity, because what distinguishes > >> a flap from non-rhotic plosives/fricatives/approximants > >> is the quickness with which it is pronounced, not the > >> degree of closure. In my other message I explained > >> that degree of closure and rhoticity are two different > >> articulatory dimensions that do not exclude each other. > > > >What's not helping here is that 2+ different definitions of rhoticity > going > >around here. Besides Javier's one (which is complete news to me) the > lowered > >third formant one. And they don't seem to be even vaguely coterminous, > since > >there's nothing "quick" about, say, [@`]. > > The thing about the third formant tells you about > the imprint of rhoticity in a spectrogram, but it > tells you nothing about how the sound actually > 'feels' from an impressionistic point of view nor > about how to articulate it to produce the effect.
What in the blazing tells anything about how a sound "feels" if not a spectrogramme? Certainly not any articulatory characteristicum, at any rate! And that the lowered third formant definition doesn't say anything about how to articulate it is kind of the point.
> OTOH, the rhoticity of [@`] is not of the single-pulse > kind, but of the multiple-pulse kind, and is not > produced by a quick controlled movement of the tongue, > but by its bracing and distribution of tensions that > cause the airstream pressure to make the loose tongue > tip 'tremble' with vibratory pulses. In the case of > rhotic vowels and rhotic approximants, you don't > need to rigidize your tongue so much and so close > to the alveolar ridge as in a plosive trill, because > you don't need to produce a series of closures with > the vibrating tip but only to cause the frictionless > air flow to 'tremble' mildly.
If there's some pulsiness to [@`] - I'll leave it to our American friends to confirm/deny that - there certainly isn't to [z`], or at least not anymore than in [v], which I certainly hope you're not going to claim is a rhotic on any definition, while the former is supposed to be one the lowered third formant one. Andreas