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Re: rhotic miscellany (was: Advanced English + Babel text)

From:Andreas Johansson <andjo@...>
Date:Thursday, November 4, 2004, 10:15
Quoting Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>:

> This is true. There is no real doubt that the Vulgar Latin /r/ was the > lingual trill which is still retained in modern Italian. There is no > reason to suppose that it was any different in france. Certainly the > change of intervocalic and, sometimes, final /r/ to /z/ in the 16th & 17th > centuries (hence _chaire_ --> chaise, and the feminine of -eur being -euse > and the dropping of -r so often in words ending in -er) is clear testimony > of its linguo-dental nature. The uvular R could not have become general > till the 18th century and did not, apparently, become general in Parisian > speech till the beginning of the 19th century. Once it had become > fashionable in Parisian speech it spread not only to the rest of northern > France but also into the Netherlands and into Germany.
And, apparently, into Scandinavia - at least, that's the explanation I've heard for the uvular realizations of /r/ common in southern Sweden. Some 'lects have uvular /r/'s in some positions and alveolar/retroflex in others. They also commonly totally lose /r/ in the positions where it in Standard Swedish merges with a following dental; eg, while I pronounce /sport/ as [spOt`(:)], they would say it as [spOt:]. (Well, there's no reason to think it's /sport/ for them, since they pronounce _sport_ and _spott_ the same, and the later certainly contains no /r/.) I do not remember what happens in Danish. Andreas