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11 votes

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

In Finnish, most consonants including the [r] have a long-short distinction. There are plenty of minimal pairs including varas (thief) vs varras (skewer).
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10 votes
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Any languages that consider the alveolar and uvular trill distinct consonant phonemes?

Phoible is a useful database for phonological questions containing more than 3000 inventories for more than 2000 languages They have just 19 inventories with a /ʀ/ (i.e. with a phonemic uvular trill). ...
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10 votes
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Do any languages contrast [r] and [r:]?

(Due to finding a source that I think provides an even better example than my previous answer, I've updated this post). Arop-Lokep In “Initial and Medial Geminate Trills in Arop-Lokep,” by Raymond, ...
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10 votes

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

In Arabic, all consonants, including /r/, can be geminated in non-initial position. There are minimal pairs like barada "he was cold" vs barrada "he cooled (something)".
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9 votes

Does the French R-sound come from Germanic influence?

There is not a single R-sound in French. There are at least two rhotic sounds considered "standard": [ʁ] and [χ] (voiced and voiceless uvular fricatives respectively), and not long ago the Paris ...
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9 votes

When and where did the guttural 'r' originate?

Sort of. The short answer is that the uvular R of, say, German and Dutch is probably in origin an independent development from the French uvular (as it is in Northumbrian English.) It is true that ...
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8 votes

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

In Hungarian, all consonants have long and short versions, and there are many minimal pairs. Examples: pára /paːrɒ/ "fog/steam/condensation" | párra /paːrːɒ/ "onto the pair" vére /...
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7 votes

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

According to Wikipedia, Slovak does contrast /r/ and /rː/, but the Journal of IPA on Slovak says that the geminated /r/ (i.e. /rː/) is considered an allophone of /r/ because there are no minimal pairs ...
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6 votes
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What were allophone rules for [r] in Old English and Middle English?

There's no certain answer to this question, as the various realizations of /r/ in OE/ME (and in early Germanic languages generally) are far from straightforwardly clear. A good recent article by Piotr ...
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5 votes

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

Any answer given here will perforce be speculative, but... There is a well-known speech impediment, rhotacism (or de-rhotacization), whereby speakers cannot pronounce sounds similar to the alveolar ...
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4 votes

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

Another example is (certain Eritrean dialects of) Tigrinya. There is a trill which can be transcribed in IPA as [r], a clear alveolar trill, which is phonologically /R:/ (using "R" to unify ...
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4 votes

Credible sources for Rho-Rotation?

What you refer to as "rho-rotation" is just a specific kind of metathesis. If you search for "rhotic metathesis" (or something similar, perhaps "liquid metathesis" or &...
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4 votes

Credible sources for Rho-Rotation?

Yes, rhotic metathesis (or r-metathesis) is a real thing. If you want a recent-ish study on it, try this 2013 paper by Bartłomiej Czaplicki. Simply, metathesis is the transpositions of letters, sounds,...
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2 votes
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How does r-coloring impact phonological analysis?

I'm not sure I entirely understand the question, but there are a lot of reasons why in a phonological analysis of English, r-colored vowels might be treated as something other than a vowel + rhotic ...
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2 votes

How does r-coloring impact phonological analysis?

The question has a contradictory presupposition: one might care that phonemically-speaking an /ə/ followed by a rhotic consonant in the same syllable has its pronunciation impacted The contradiction ...
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2 votes

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

According to A Course in Phonetics by Peter Ladefoged and Keith Johnson, Icelandic also contrasts [r] and [rː]. They also give a minimal pair and a spectrograph: [sauːra] ‘wound’ [saurːa] ‘sore’ (...
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2 votes

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

Cruttenden notes "There are more phonetic variations of the /r/ phoneme than of any other English consonants." (Gimson's Pronunciation of English, 2001.207) Among the variations in British English ...
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2 votes

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

I'll limit a few examples to the varieties of English found in the UK here. Northumbria There's a phenomenon known as the Northumbrian Burr in Northumbria in the North of England wereby (older) ...
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2 votes

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

Arabic is a one such language, distinguishing between /r/ and /ʁ/, the latter oscillating between a vibrant and fricative pronunciation. I believe the uvular trill is not, however, considered an R ...
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1 vote

When and where did the guttural 'r' originate?

A perceptual proximity can explain how two sounds with different articulatory features can be related diachronically. The perception is also an element to take into account in the evolution of the ...
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  • 1,477
1 vote

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

The standard explanation, insofar as it seems mysterious given the different articulators of the sounds, is that uvulars and lingual rhotics have in common a lowering of F3 – they sound similar. This ...
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1 vote

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

With the possible exception of Ancient Egyptian where no grapheme for "l" existed, the r/l distinction seems to be well-maintained in the Afroasiatic languages. It exists in Semitic, Berber, Chadic, ...
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1 vote

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

Between them, Tunny and Danger Fourpence have nicely covered much of Great Britain north of London. Southwest England The Westcountry dialect has the stereotypical retroflex "pirate" R, as ...
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