Questions tagged [rhotics]

For questions about r-like sounds.

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15
votes
2answers
4k views

When and where did the guttural 'r' originate?

I have often wondered why French is (almost) unique in the Romance languages in using the guttural 'r' – in particular, the uvular fricative. Apart from Piedmontese / Piedmontese Italian (and even ...
12
votes
4answers
1k views

Any languages that consider the alveolar and uvular trill distinct consonant phonemes?

I am intrigued by the difference between alveolar and uvular trills (and related phones) within and across languages, e.g., per this map of European /r/ usage (taken from this comment), which seems to ...
10
votes
2answers
553 views

Why do phonemes such as /r/ and /ɾ/ evolve into uvular sounds like /ʀ/?

Forgive me if this seems vague, but this is mainly looking at the Germanic languages. Proto-Germanic probably used an alveolar of some sort, most likely a trill. In terms of Modern Germanic ...
9
votes
6answers
2k views

Do any languages contrast [r] and [r:]?

I've heard of languages that contrast [r] and [ɾ] but I am unable to find any language that contrast a normal trill and a long trill. I searched far and near but to no avail. So is there any language ...
9
votes
1answer
677 views

Does the French R-sound come from Germanic influence?

Unless I'm mistaken, it is the same sound as the R in German, Yiddish, Danish,and Swedish.
5
votes
1answer
235 views

What were allophone rules for [r] in Old English and Middle English?

I gather that [r] (trill) was realized as [ɹ] in different dialects of Old English and Middle English, but when [r] was used, was it an allophone? In other words, did [r] vary predictably with [ɹ] (...
5
votes
3answers
471 views

Other than Scottish rolled "r" and North American rhotacised vowels, are there any differences across "r" sounds in English dialects?

I'm wondering about subtle differences in /r/ sounds across varieties of English. By subtle I mean I want to ignore the obvious large differences such as the trilled "r" in Scottish English and the ...
4
votes
1answer
205 views

How strong was the r/l distinction in Proto-Afro-Asiatic?

The East Asian languages do not distinguish r and l. The PIE had r/l alternation in suffixes: -tlom/-trom, -dhlom/-dhrom, -ter/-tel, -ros/-los. What can be said in this context about Afro-Asiatic ...
0
votes
0answers
44 views

Native Pronunciation of -rr- in the place name Wirral as voiced alveolar stop -d-

I was surprised to hear the Native Pronunciation of -rr- in the place name Wirral as voiced alveolar stop/tap -d- in this video as spoken by a native centenarian at the time point 0:47: Life Lessons ...