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Re: Alveolar Trill Help

From:Jacob Weaver <notestriker@...>
Date:Friday, July 30, 2004, 0:56
Wow.  Thank you for the very fast and knowledgeable response!  I will
try these...

- Jacob

On Thursday, July 29, 2004, at 08:43  PM, Mark P. Line wrote:

> Jacob Weaver said: >> >> After browsing some of the messages on this listserv, I wondered if >> someone might be able >> to help - how exactly does one go about learning to produce an >> alveolar >> trill? I am a native >> English speaker and have never been able to produce it, but my >> understanding is that I >> physically should be able to train myself somehow. > > Phonetics is one of the few things that is best learned in person from > an > expert (as opposed to studying printed material on the subject, or > figuring it out for yourself). > > Lacking that, though, you might try to find a copy of Ken Pike's > _Phonemics_ which has some pretty detailed articulatory instructions > for > most types of sounds you'll encounter in natlangs. > > His instructions for the apical trills are as follows (p. 37): > > "2a. Try to produce a tongue-tip trill in one of the following ways: > Let > the tongue hang loosely, with the tongue tip a bit closer to the top of > the mouth than it would be in a position for [z]. Blow sharply over the > tip of the tongue. > > "2b. Start with a flap produced in one of the ways given in the > preceding > exercises. Once the flap is being produced easily, the student should > attempty to leave the tongue in the general flap position or bring it > back > rapidly but loosely and relaxed to the same position from which it > flapped. If he feels a bit of vibration develop, he should continue to > work on the sound until he can get full control of the trill. Sharp > bursts > of breath are more likely to start such a vibration than a normal > breath > movement. > > "2c. Once the sound has been made for the first time, the student > should > continue practicing it in various positions in relation to vowels and > words until he can control it easily." > > > Pike adds the following footnote: "Many people find alveolar and uvular > trills among the hardest sounds for them to learn. The reason for this > is > that the sounds must be made automatically; no placing of the tongue > can > as such make certain the production of the sounds. The student can > merely > approximate the general tongue position and experiment with mimicry > until > he feels the first accidental vibrations. Once he does so, he can then > by > assiduous practice gain control over them." > > > What Pike's saying in the footnote is that one way to learn phonetics > is > to do it the way babies do: by babbling, and comparing your babbles to > the > sounds other people are making. > > Finally, I've noticed that some people do better learning their first > trills (especially bilabial and apical) if they start with the > voiceless > ones. > > -- Mark >