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Re: Vibrant/Tremulant

From:Paul Roser <pkroser@...>
Date:Friday, July 20, 2007, 19:18
On Mon, 16 Jul 2007 07:45:33 +0000, Mark Jones <markjjones@...> wrote:

>I'm completing an acoustic study of trills in 18 languages, and very often >only the first contact shows signs of complete closure - successive contacts >are weaker, with a more approximant-like acoustic structure, occasionally in >a strong-weak pattern if more than 2 occur.
Do let us know when your study has been published. Did you limit it to apical trills or did you also include labial and uvular trills?
>I think that incompletely >occluded trills are not only possible, they occur quite commonly in speech, >even relatively carefully articulated word-lists. Overall, trills occur >about 30% of the time in non-spontaneous samples in languages said to have a >trilled /r/. Other realisations are taps (most common), approximants, and >fricatives.
I think it's significant that trills can be realized as taps, approximants or fricatives. John Wells on his phonetics blog has noted that some people incorrectly believe that trills can be learned by very rapidly articulating a sequence like /t@d@/, and I have seen various conlang pages where people assume that taps and trills are the equivalent of rapid or reiterated stops (tap might be, trills most cerrtainly are not). Trills may be initiated by a stop (in the case of bilabial trills nearly always, though not so much for apical or uvular trills) but I believe that the trill mechanism is something that only co-occurs with fricative and approximant strictures. On the other hand, taps seem to be ambiguous between ultra-short stops and rapid single-contact trills, while flaps, which seem to be limited to bilabial, labiodental and sublamino/apico-postalveolar points of articulation, might be characterized as something like transient stops. -Bfowol ----- "The problem with defending the purity of the English language is that English is about as pure as a cribhouse whore. We don't just borrow words; on occasion, English has pursued other languages down alleyways to beat them unconscious and rifle their pockets for new vocabulary." - James Nicoll