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Re: Need some help with terms: was "rhotic miscellany"

From:Sally Caves <scaves@...>
Date:Sunday, November 7, 2004, 15:07
LOL!!  Ha ha ha!  What a heartwarming message, Marcos, and I thank you
heartily for it!  The things this list makes us do!  (Because I too spent a
disturbing amount of time in front of the mirror, with my fingers in my
gurgling mouth, much to the annoyance of my husband.)  Apologies accepted,
and please accept mine.  I'm in the midst of a migraine.  I promise
everybody that if I do find my retainer, or the plaster cast of my mouth, I
won't take a picture of it and post it on the web.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Mark J. Reed" <markjreed@...>
To: <CONLANG@...>
Sent: Sunday, November 07, 2004 9:32 AM
Subject: Re: Fw: Need some help with terms: was "rhotic miscellany"

> Okay, it seems what Sally and I had heah was a failyuh to comyoonicate, > coupled with my personal ignorance of a once-common characterization of > the > American /r/ as retroflex. Also, there's the fact that I don't have a > convenient X-ray machine to see what the heck my own tongue is doing > when I pronounce one. > > So I apologize again to Sally for the confusion and misinterpretation of > her tone, and readily accept her apologies in turn. > > I think we all now understand and agree upon what the IPA means by > "retroflex", and that it is a manner of articulation masquerading as a > point of articulation because that's how it patterns (a useful > clarification; thank you). The CXS symbol for the retroflex > approximant is [r\`], which is a direct mapping of the components of the > IPA symbol: the symbol for the dental/alveolar/postalveoloar approximant > [r\] plus the rhotic hook [`]. > > But AFAICT we still haven't established what the realization of /r/ in > General American English actually is, much less whether my /r/ and > Sally's /r/ differ from that or from each other. > > All I can say about GAE is that I have never noticed any difference > between its /r/ and mine. So I hereby resolve to avoid any > generalizations for the balance of this message. :) > > Having now spent a frankly disturbing amount of time pronouncing /r/ > with my fingers in my mouth and/or in front of a mirror with a > flashlight, I am going to do a complete 180-degree turn, withdraw my > objection, and agree that my /r/ is in fact retroflex - now that I > realize that "retroflex" is not the same as "sublaminal". The tip of my > tongue definitely curls up. I note that it also seems to have something > of a lateral component, in that the sides of my tongue touch the insides > of my upper teeth. > > So at my /r/, and based on earlier messages in this thread, > Sally's /r/, are both apparently [r\`]. So it would not be much of a > stretch to assume that the GAE /r/ is also [r\`]. But I'm not going to > make that assumption, because I resolved above not to. :) > > -Marcos >