In Italian we have the alveolar trill as a phoneme, but not all native speakers (me, for example) can do it: some people have what we call an "Erre Moscia" meaning we can't properly do the trill and instead do a completely different sound.

I tried looking online and some people said that it is a Uvular trill (/ʀ/) a Voiced uvular fricative (/ʁ/) or a Voiced labiodental approximant (/ʋ/), but I tried making all those sounds and they're completely different, it's not the ones I nor anyone I know do instead of the normal /r/. I tried looking through the IPA chart and sound formation but I couldn't find anything that resembles the sound I make.

So my question is: does anyone know what this sound actually is? Does it have a name/symbol? How is it articulated/made exactly?

If it can help, I personally do it with my tongue in rest position, as it usually stays flat in the bottom of the mouth. I also remember reading somewhere that it could be made by vibrating the back part of the tongue rather than the tip, but I don't remember where I read it so I can't confirm.

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    It’s not generally possible to vibrate the back part of the tongue – only the tip (in the same way that you can shake your fingers, but not your wrists). Most likely what you heard a description of is when the back of the tongue touches the uvula, which then vibrates. This is the uvular trill, the r sound found in Standard French and Standard German, as well as in Portuguese for rr. Uvular trills are indeed common substitutes for [r] for people who can’t trill with the tip of their tongue, but we can’t tell you what ‘your’ sound is without hearing it. Aug 1 at 10:12
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    It's not one sound. It can be any of a number of sounds depending on the affected speaker. For me, it was/is some kind of approximant, maybe similar to an American /r/ but not retroflexed, so I guess you could also say an R-colored vowel (schwa?). But this is me, it's not representative of everyone with "erre moscia", which just refers to anyone with a speech defect on their "regular Italian" trilled/tapped /r/.
    – LjL
    Aug 1 at 19:07


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