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Re: THEORY: Vibrant/tremulant?

From:Peter Ara Guekguezian <pag-conlanglist@...>
Date:Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 21:38
Benct Philip Jonsson wrote:
> On 15.7.2007 Roger Mills wrote: > > > > Hmmm, perhaps it's a _voiceless_ r-trill, at least I seem > > able to do it -- with conscious effort-- without the tip > > touching the palate (except occasionally :-( though it's > > always _almost_ touching...) There's also a lot of h-like > > or even x- or X- like friction too-- maybe you could work > > it in as a cluster??? I wonder if it might be something > > like Dutch initial gr- [X+vl. r] > > Having learnt to speak Icelandic _in situ_ I'm quite > familiar with [r_0], and I think that is it, but I'm a bit > confused by your x/X friction. There certainly isn't any > such in the [r_0] I've learnt. OTOH there *is* quite some > alveolar s-like friction in it which is absent in a voiced > [r] or [r\]. FWIW to my naked ear a voiceless [r\_0] is > indistinguishable from [S]. I'm reminded of Czech r-haczek, > which is described as a fricative alveolar trill, fits my > [r_0] spot on except that the latter is voiceless. IIRC I've > seen the modern Czech sound described as voiceless, though. > > /BP 8^)> > -- > Benct Philip Jonsson -- melroch atte melroch dotte se > ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ > a shprakh iz a dialekt mit an armey un flot > (Max Weinreich) >
Hmm... when I pronounce [r_0], it still comes out as a "pure" trill with no more frication than [r]. I can pretty clearly distinguish [r\_0] from [S], perhaps because my accent has ingrained lip rounding for [S] and slight retroflexion for [r\]. However, my [r_r_0] is quite [S]-like. However, I think the sound we're looking for might be [r_d_0] or [r_r_d_0]. I get this sound sometimes during the release of a particularly sloppy, saliva-propelling [t_d_h]; it sounds like a cross between [T] and [S] or [r_r_0], and has a slight, loose trill that is unsustainable (in contrast to other trills), with accompanying frication similar to that in [r_r_0]. There's a certain additional weirdness to this sound, kind of [X]-like, which might be due to the weird position of the tongue needed for the dental trilling. Also, like what Roger Mills described, the tongue is close to the front of the palate as well, which led me to think at first that this was postalveolar; upon close inspection, there doesn't seem to be contact there, at most only as much as there would be for [r\_0]. EDIT : upon even closer inspection, I think that this a retroflexed dental sound, as the tip of the tongue is raised up a little, giving an [s`]-like quality to the sound, and the dental contact/trilling being made by the underside of the tongue blade. This "retroflex dental"-ness is also present if the stop is released as an affricate instead of a trill. EDIT EDIT : there might even be lateralization going on. Acoustically (to my untrained ear), it sounds 3 parts [T], 2 parts [r_0], 1 part [s`], 1 part [X], and one part [K]. There isn't necessarily any lateralization or uvularization, but that's kind of the acoustical impression I get. All in all, I think this is just the result of the tongue being in a strange, strange position. Although the descriptions I've heard of the infamous American "bunched 'r'" are just as weird IMO...