I recently came upon a viral/funny Quebecois video:


In it, the guy is pronouncing his "r"s (e.g. in gros, bras) very oddly. I can't reproduce this sound, and neither can my Quebecois friends. It's not an alveolar trill, it sounds like more like a uvular trill, but it might be a combination. Does anyone have any idea? I'm fascinated.

  • Hearing it more, it sounds like a really well performed voiceless uvular trill. – Stavros Korokithakis May 21 '13 at 15:51
  • Haha, it's funny, even though I couldn't understand everything (I did get the jambes). Hmm very hard to hear/analyse. Are you sure it's not something in between an exaggerated alveolar flap and an alveolar trill? When I try to mimic his r, I get closest with an alveolar flap, I think. He also seems to switch between flap and trill, I think. But I'm no expert. – Cerberus May 22 '13 at 4:35
  • I'm pretty sure, I'm Greek, so I know my alveolars :P It definitely doesn't sound alveolar, or it wouldn't sound odd to me... – Stavros Korokithakis May 22 '13 at 10:31

It isn't alveolar in any case, it is indeed a very clean uvular trill.

  • Yeah, that sounds the most likely. Given that I can't produce even a very dirty uvular trill, this amazes and confuses me. Thanks for the answer. – Stavros Korokithakis May 22 '13 at 14:34

I thought it was a bilabial trill; maybe in coarticulation with an uvular one, at least sometimes? Sounds slightly different at the beginning of the video than later.

  • Nah, it's not bilabial, his mouth is open... You can see it more pronouncedly here: youtube.com/watch?v=udDMaiRyhBo – Stavros Korokithakis May 23 '13 at 11:27
  • Not sure it's always the same phone. When he says "bras" he closes his mouth anyway for the "b", so my guess is that in this context he substitutes a bilabial trill for the uvular one. In other contexts, that might not be the case. edit: Yes, in that other video it's definitely an uvular trill. – Fryie May 24 '13 at 3:14

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