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Rolling your R's

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  • H. S. Teoh
    I ve always wanted to pronounce trills, and for many years I tried to learn it with all kinds of techniques and suggestions from people, but all to no avail.
    Message 1 of 40 , Jul 16, 2013
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      I've always wanted to pronounce trills, and for many years I tried to
      learn it with all kinds of techniques and suggestions from people, but
      all to no avail. Up until about a week or two ago, the only trill I've
      ever been able to produce is the bilabial trill.

      But about a week or so ago, while trying to figure out how exactly
      _ehrlu_ should be pronounced in my new alien conlang (something like
      /Exrlu/ where the /r/ is some kind of trill), I somehow accidentally
      stumbled upon a guttural, voiceless trill of some sort, which I shall
      refer to henceforth as /xr/. I still can't consistently produce it, but
      the combination [Exr] somehow gets my vocal apparatus in (or near) the
      state required for trilling, so once in a while a trill comes out.

      I still have no idea what exactly /xr/ is. It is voiceless, and involves
      some rather guttural sounds. I *think* it's an uvular trill, but it may
      be a mixture of uvular + alveolar trill. Or maybe it's [x] followed by a
      voiceless [r]? How do you tell the difference between an uvular trill
      and an alveolar trill? I know that in theory [R\] is trilling the uvula
      whereas [r] is trilling the tip of the tongue, but the way I'm
      pronouncing /xr/ seems like some kind of hybrid between the two. The tip
      of my tongue is actually pulled quite far back in the mouth, almost
      palatal -- I can't get any trill at all if I move my tongue any farther
      forwards. The vibration starts out somewhere far back in my throat, and
      sometimes moves forward to the tip of the tongue.

      Do y'all have trouble pronouncing trills? And if not, what kind of
      trill(s) can you pronounce, and how?

      After accidentally discovering /xr/ (whatever it is), I managed after
      much effort to shift things about to be able to say /Er:/ with what I
      believe is an alveolar trill. But I still have trouble consistently
      producing this sound, and I still can't pronounce it with other sounds
      (or at least, only with great difficulty). The only way I manage to
      trill my /r/ is by pulling my tongue quite far back in the mouth, with
      the tip of my tongue curled up to an almost vertical position; this is a
      rather inconvenient position to be combined with many vowels/consonants.
      Because of this, I'm a bit unsure whether it's a real *alveolar* trill,
      and not a dorsal palatal trill or something (is there such a thing?).

      Any tips/ideas? :)

      Also, why aren't there IPA symbols for voiced/voiceless trills? I can
      clearly pronounce both voiced and voiceless variants of /r/, and /xr/,
      whatever it is, is clearly voiceless. But AFAICT, the only IPA symbols
      for trills are [r] and [R\]?


      T

      --
      Designer clothes: how to cover less by paying more.
    • Roger Mills
      Spanish, when sung, often gets distorted...:-)  To my ears, he s just doing the normal [D] (as in Engl. the, there) pronunciation of intervocalic /d/. The
      Message 40 of 40 , Jul 23, 2013
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        Spanish, when sung, often gets distorted...:-)  To my ears, he's just doing the normal [D] (as in Engl. the, there) pronunciation of intervocalic /d/. The fact that his mouth is wide open may have something to do with it.

        As you probably know, in colloquial ~fast speech, Span. intervoc. /d/ [D] is often dropped entirely-- aplastado = [aplas'ta.o]



        ________________________________
        From: Leonardo Castro <leolucas1980@...>
        To: CONLANG@...
        Sent: Tuesday, July 23, 2013 12:42 PM
        Subject: Re: Rolling your R's


        Is it just me, or they really pronounce the "d" of "aplastado",
        "espinado", etc. as laminar alveolar flaps in this song (Corazón
        Espinado)?

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFO0Nrr5z-U

        Até mais!

        Leonardo
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