I'm a native speaker and I notice I pronounce R as [ɹʋ] non finally, a spontaneous ɹ and ʋ. At the end of words though I use the regular ɹ. Is this normal and does anyone else do this?

1 Answer 1


Yes, that is common. It is often broadly transcribed as [ɹʷ], using the "labialized/rounded" diacritic, but for me also the coarticulation is labiodental rather than bilabial. Mechanical snail's answer to "Retroflex approximants in AE dialects" on ELU Stack Exchange uses the transcriptions [ɻᶹ] and [ψᶹ].

  • and in some British accents (notably Estruary English) the rounding is so extreme it's often broadly transcribed simply as [ʋ] with only the labial articulation transcribed and the tongue involvement ignored
    – Tristan
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 16:13
  • 1
    American English rhotic /r/ is rounded. That shows up in a number of ways with different speakers and different contexts. That's also why Americans often hear, or pronounce (or occasionally spell) Goethe as ['ɡɝtə]. The German /ö/, a mid front rounded vowel, that doesn't exist in English, is perceived as having an /r/ because it's rounded and in the same mouth space as /r/.
    – jlawler
    Commented Aug 17, 2022 at 17:41
  • 1
    And non-rhotic BrE speakers also make the first syllables of Goethe and Girton the same. The roundedness is not perceived or duplicated, merely the centrality.
    – Colin Fine
    Commented Aug 18, 2022 at 16:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.