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rhotics (was Hellenish oddities)

From:BP Jonsson <bpj@...>
Date:Tuesday, November 28, 2000, 14:32


>A friend suggested repeating [d] rapidly. Occasionally it *almost* >works. <wry look>
Try placing the tounge rather relaxed in position for [t] and then force a stream of air through. This will produce a voiceless trill. Once you master that effortlessly you can add voice, then pronounce it before and between vowels. That's how my founetiks teacher thought those of us who couldn't manage elegant r's, and I daresay he learnt it himself that way, since his natural r was uvular.
>And no, I can't whistle properly. I can't throat-sing either, despite >trying those websites; I do seem to remember that one of them said it's >harder for women to learn. It's not fair. <sigh>
Hmm. IME it is harder for men than for women. Maybe north Europeans are different in this!? [snip]
>Korean has some form of r that I *can* produce, which sounds kind of but >not quite like a tap. (The American approximant? also suffices, >considering the number of Americans in and around Seoul.) In >syllable-final position the r manifests as an [l], I think.
According to the books Korean /r/ is a tap initially and intervocalicly, an alveolar approximant(*) before consonants and [l] in final position. One of my books screws things up by transcribing the phoneme as /l/, since the author believes that the Hangul {r} character was originally [l] in all positions, while the ancient character looking like an uppercase Delta was [r]. I guess his guess is as good as anybody's. (*The American approximant is dorso-retroflex rather than apico-alveolar as the Korean one.)
>My conlang has a single rhotic, and I figure that different "r" sounds are >used by different dialects, but I haven't worked this out yet.
That, with or without positional or idiolectal variation between different types is quite widespread in ethnic languages. Witness English with some three different approximants, tap in some positions in some British speakers (plus tap as intervocalic /d/ for most Americans) and trill in Scotland, or most other Germanic lgs with both apical and uvular r's in individual/dialectal variation. / B.Philip Jonsson B^)> -- (delete .nospam) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "If a language is a dialect with an army and a navy, of what language, pray, is Basque a dialect?" (R.A.B.)