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Lovin' the liquids (was: Re: Mutable R's)

From:Douglas Koller, Latin & French <latinfrench@...>
Date:Wednesday, March 26, 2003, 15:07
Dit Christophe:

>En réponse à Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>: > >> >> What is Czech r-caret? I've never seen any descent description of it ... > >Alveolar fricative trill (or "voiced strident apico-alveolar trill" >if you want >a complete description :)) ). Used to have its own IPA character ("latin small >letter r with long leg", Unicode position 027C), which became obsolete in 89. >Now rendered in IPA as [r_r] (in X-SAMPA), i.e. "raised r". > >> my >> unhelpful encyclopaedia's pronunciation guides of Czech names makes is >> [rS], >> which I find slightly difficult to believe, and looking up the article >> on Czech, >> it says simultaneous [r] and [Z], which ought to be impossible. >> > >Yet it's a correct description, as it's basically how it sounds like. I don't >know if my pronunciation is exactly correct, but to my ears it seems to be so. >I basically pronounce it like an [r], i.e. apically trilled, but instead of >having the body of the tongue low, I have it close to the palate, so >that there >is added friction to the trill. It definitely sounds like simulatenous [r] and >[Z].
Stateside, the only real chance we have here to practice this sound is with the composer's name, Dvorak, which classical music stations pronounce, quelle surprise, /"dvorZak/. To perpetuate the urban myth, I don't know if it's the most difficult sound in the world to produce, but my Linguistics 101 professor oh-so-many years ago said that even native speakers don't master the sound until their tweens. A tad extreme, perhaps, but as it can take a while for native English-speaking children to master /l/ ("I wuv you, Mommy."), I could see it taking at least a little time to nail /r_r/. Kou


Christophe Grandsire <christophe.grandsire@...>