In common parlance, "GUTTURAL R" is the phenomenon whereby a rhotic consonant (an "R-like" sound) is produced in the back of the vocal tract (usually with the uvula ) rather than in the front portion thereof and thus as a guttural consonant. Speakers of languages with guttural R typically regard guttural and coronal rhotics to be alternative pronunciations of the same phoneme , despite articulatory differences. Similar consonants are found in other parts of the world, but they often have little to no cultural association or interchangeability with coronal rhotics (such as , , and ) and are (perhaps) not rhotics at all .
The guttural realization of a lone rhotic consonant is typical in
most of what is now
Outside of central
* 1 Romance languages
* 1.1 French * 1.2 Portuguese * 1.3 Spanish * 1.4 Italian
* 2 Breton
* 3 Continental West Germanic
* 3.1 Dutch and Afrikaans * 3.2 Standard German * 3.3 Yiddish
* 4 Insular West Germanic
* 4.1 English
* 5 North Germanic
* 5.1 Danish and Swedish * 5.2 Norwegian * 5.3 Icelandic
* 6 Slavic languages
* 7 Semitic languages
* 7.1 Hebrew
* 7.1.1 Yiddish influence * 7.1.2 Israeli Hebrew
* 7.2 Arabic * 7.3 Ethiopic * 7.4 Akkadian
* 8 Austronesian
* 8.1 Malay dialects * 8.2 Other Austronesian languages
* 9 Other language families
* 9.1 Basque * 9.2 Khmer * 9.3 Bantu
* 10 Rhotic-agnostic guttural consonants written as rhotics
* 10.1 Inuit languages
* 11 See also
* 12 References
* 12.1 Notes * 12.2 Works cited
* 13 External links
The French rhotic has a wide range of realizations: both the voiced and voiceless uvular fricatives (the first of the two also realized as an approximant ), the uvular trill , the alveolar trill , and the alveolar tap . These are all recognized as the phoneme /r/, but most of them (all except and ) are considered dialectal. For example, was once typical of a working class Parisian accent, while is sometimes found in southern France, as well as (increasingly less) in North America.
Today in northern
It is not known when the guttural rhotic entered the French language, but it may have become commonplace in the mid or late 18th century. Molière 's Le Bourgeois gentilhomme , written in the 17th century, has a professor describe the sound of /r/ as an alveolar trill.
Quebec French , speakers from rural areas and older generations
traditionally use an alveolar trill, as was the pronunciation that was
likely retained after the French colonists in
Generally speaking, classical choral and operatic French pronunciation requires the use of an alveolar trill when singing, since an alveolar trill is easier to project than any guttural sound, be it a uvular trill or a uvular fricative.
Standard versions of Portuguese have two rhotic phonemes, which contrast only between vowels. In older Portuguese, these were the alveolar flap /ɾ/ (written ⟨r⟩) and the alveolar trill /r/ (written ⟨rr⟩). In other positions, only ⟨r⟩ is written in Modern Portuguese, but it can stand for either sound, depending on the exact position. The distribution of these sounds is mostly the same as in other Iberian languages like Spanish, i.e.:
* ⟨r⟩ represents a trill when written ⟨rr⟩ between vowels; at the beginning of a word; or following /n/, /l/, /z/, or /ʒ/. Examples: caRRo, Rua, honRar, IsRael. * ⟨r⟩ represents a flap elsewhere, i.e. following a vowel or following any consonant other than /n/, /l/, /z/, or /ʒ/. Examples: caRo, quatRo, quaRto, maR.
In the 19th century, the voiced uvular fricative penetrated the upper classes in the region of Lisbon in Portugal as the realization of the trill. By the late 20th century, it had replaced the alveolar trill in most of the country's urban areas. Many northern dialects , like Transmontano , Portuese (which is heard in parts of Aveiro ), Minhoto , and much of Beirão retain the alveolar trill. In the rural regions, the alveolar trill is still dominant, but most of the country's population currently lives in or near the cities. The uvular trill is also heard sometimes.
A common realization of the word-initial /ʀ/ in the Lisbon accent is a voiced uvular trill fricative .
The Setúbal dialect uses the voiced uvular fricative for all instances of "r" — word start, intervocalic, postconsonantal and syllable ending. This same pronunciation is attested in people with rhotacism and in non-native speakers of French origin.
In Africa, the classical alveolar trill is mostly still dominant, due to separate development from European Portuguese.
In Brazil, the normal pronunciation of ⟨rr⟩ is voiceless, either as a voiceless velar fricative , voiceless uvular fricative or a voiceless glottal fricative . In many dialects, this voiceless sound not only replaces all occurrences of the traditional trill, but is also used for all ⟨r⟩ that is not followed by a vowel (i.e. when at the end of a syllable, which uses a flap in other dialects). The resulting distribution can be described as:
* A flap only for single ⟨r⟩ and only when it occurs either between vowels or between a preceding consonant (other than /n/, /l/, /z/, or /ʒ/) and a following vowel. Examples: caRo, quatRo. * A voiceless fricative or everywhere else: when written ⟨rr⟩; at the beginning of a word; at the end of a word; before a consonant; after /n/, /l/, /z/, or /ʒ/. Examples: caRRo, Rua, honRar, IsRael, quaRto, maR.
In the three southernmost states, however, the alveolar trill remains frequent, and the distribution of trill and flap is as in Portugal. Some speakers use a guttural fricative instead of a trill, like the majority of Brazilians, but continue to use the flap before consonants (e.g. in quaRto). Among others, this includes many speakers in the city of São Paulo and some neighboring cities, though an alveolar approximant is also common, not only in the city, but the approximant is the dominant articulation in São Paulo state , the most populous state in Brazil. The caipira dialect has the alveolar approximant in the same position.
In areas where ⟨r⟩ at the end of a word would be a voiceless fricative, the tendency in colloquial speech is to pronounce this sound very lightly, or omit it entirely. Some speakers may omit it entirely in verb infinitives (amar "to love", comer "to eat", dormir "to sleep") but pronounce it lightly in some other words ending in ⟨r⟩ (mar "sea", mulher "woman", amor "love"). This tendency also occurs in some African countries; but speakers in Rio often resist the tendency, pronouncing a strong fricative or at the end of such words.
The voiceless fricative may be partly or fully voiced if it occurs directly before a voiced sound, especially in its weakest form of , which is normally voiced to . For example, a speaker whose ⟨rr⟩ sounds like will often pronounce surdo "deaf" as or even , with a very slight epenthetic vowel that mimics the preceding vowel.
In most Spanish -speaking territories and regions, guttural or uvular realizations of /r/ are considered a speech defect . Generally the single flap , spelled r as in cara, undergoes no defective pronunciations, but the alveolar trill in rata or perro is one of the last sounds learned by children and uvularization is likely among individuals who fail to achieve the alveolar articulation. This said, back variants for /r/ (, or ) are widespread in rural Puerto Rican Spanish and in the variety of Ponce, whereas they are heavily stigmatized in the variety of the capital. To a lesser extent, velar variants of /r/ are found in some rural Cuban (Yatera, Guantánamo Province) and Dominican vernaculars (El Cibao, eastern rural regions of the country) In the Basque -speaking areas of Spain, the uvular articulation has a higher prevalence among bilinguals than among Spanish monolinguals.
Breton language , spoken in
Brittany (France), is a Celtic
language rather than a
Romance language , but is heavily influenced by
French. It retains an alveolar trill in some dialects, like in Léon
CONTINENTAL WEST GERMANIC
Many Low Franconian and Low Saxon varieties have adopted a uvular rhotic. Many Central German varieties have also adopted a uvular rhotic, whereas many of the Upper German varieties have maintained an alveolar trill (). The development of uvular rhotics in these regions is not entirely understood, but a common theory is that these languages have done so because of French influence, though the reason for uvular rhotics in modern European French itself is not well understood (see above).
The Frisian languages usually retain an alveolar rhotic.
DUTCH AND AFRIKAANS
In modern Dutch , quite a few different rhotic sounds are used. In
Flanders , the usual rhotic is an alveolar trill , but the uvular
rhotic does occur, mostly in the province of Limburg , in
Ghent and in
Brussels . In the
Most varieties of Standard German are spoken with a uvular rhotic,
even though the first standardized pronunciation dictionary by Theodor
Siebs prescribed an alveolar pronunciation. The alveolar pronunciation
is used in some standard German varieties of Germany,
The upper/lower distinction also historically influenced the
development of upper and lower dialects of
Yiddish , the historic
vernacular language of
Ashkenazi Jews . As these Jews migrated to
INSULAR WEST GERMANIC
Historically, English also had an alveolar trill for the letter R. But this sound was replaced by an alveolar approximant rather than by a guttural pronunciation.
Speakers of the traditional English dialect of Northumberland and northern County Durham used a uvular rhotic known as the "Northumbrian Burr ". However, this is no longer used by most contemporary speakers, who generally realize /r/ as an alveolar approximant , , in common with other varieties spoken in the English-speaking world .
Alveolar rhotics predominate in northern
DANISH AND SWEDISH
The rhotic used in Denmark is a voiced uvular approximant , and the nearby Swedish ex-Danish regions of Scania , Blekinge , southern Halland as well as a large part of Småland and on the Öland island, use a uvular trill or a uvular fricative .
To some extent in Östergötland and still quite commonly in Västergötland , a mixture of guttural and rolling rhotic consonants is used, with the pronunciation depending on the position in the word, the stress of the syllable and in some varieties depending on whether the consonant is geminated . The pronunciation remains if a word that is pronounced with a particular rhotic consonant is put into a compound word in a position where that realization would not otherwise occur if it were part of the same stem as the preceding sound. However, in Östergötland the pronunciation tends to gravitate more towards and in Västergötland the realization is commonly voiced. Common from the time of Gustav III (Swedish king 1771-1792), who was much inspired by French culture and language, was the use of guttural R in the nobility and in the upper classes of Stockholm . This phenomenon vanished in the 1900s. The last well-known non-Southerner who spoke with a guttural R, and didn't have a speech defect, was Anders Gernandt , a popular equitation commentator on TV.
While the use of an alveolar trill or flap is generalized among speakers of Icelandic, a uvular rhotic is a fairly common pronunciation variant in the language, although it is usually frowned upon as defective pronunciation and compared to stammering and other similar speech disorders.
Slavic languages , the alveolar trill predominates, with the use
of guttural rhotics generally seen as defective pronunciation. An
exception are the languages of the Sorbian minority in
Germany , which are typically spoken with a uvular trill due
to German influence. The uvular rhotic may also be found in a small
Silesia and other German-influenced regions of
In Hebrew , the classical pronunciation associated with the consonant
ר rêš was tapped , and was grammatically treated as an ungeminable
phoneme of the language. In most dialects of Hebrew among the Jewish
diaspora , it remained a tap or a trill . However, in some Ashkenazi
dialects as preserved among Jews in northern
An apparently unrelated uvular rhotic is believed to have appeared in the Tiberian vocalization of Hebrew, where it is believed to have coexisted with additional non-guttural, emphatic articulations of /r/ depending on circumstances.
The Zionist Eliezer ben Yehuda , an Ashkenazi Jew in Czarist Russia , based his Standard Hebrew on the Sephardic dialect originally spoken in Spain , and therefore recommended an alveolar . But as the first waves of Jews to resettle in the Holy Land were northern Ashkenazi, they came to speak Standard Hebrew with their preferred uvular articulation as found in Yiddish or modern standard German , and it gradually became the most prestigious pronunciation for the language. The modern State of Israel has Jews whose ancestors came from all over the world, but nearly all of them today speak Hebrew with a uvular because of its modern prestige and historical elite status.
Many Jewish immigrants to Israel spoke a variety of Arabic in their countries of origin and pronounced the Hebrew rhotic as an alveolar tap , similar to Arabic ر rāʾ. Gradually, many of them began pronouncing their Hebrew rhotic as a voiced uvular fricative , somewhat similar to some Arabic dialects for pronouncing غ ġayn. However, in modern Sephardic and Mizrahi poetry and folk music an alveolar rhotic continues to be used.
* The Tigris dialects, a group among the Qǝltu dialects in
The uvular /r/ was attested already in vernacular
Arabic of the
Abbasid period . Nowadays
In Amharic the alveolar trill is the usual pronunciation of /r/. But there are also assertions that around Addis Abeba some dialects exhibit a uvular r. Note that this information is not very supported in Semitic Studies. Also in Gafat (extinct since the 1950s) a uvular fricative or trill might have existed.
The majority of assyriologists deem an alveolar trill or tap the most likely pronunciation. However, there are several indications to a velar or uvular frivative ~ particularly supported by John Huehnergard . The main arguments constitute alternations with the voiceless uvular fricative /ḫ/ (e.g. ruššû/ḫuššû "red"; barmātu "multicolored" (fem. pl.), the spelling ba-aḫ-ma-a-tù is attested). Besides /r/ shows certain phonological parallelisms with /ḫ/ and other gutturals (especially the glottal stop ).
These dialects mainly uses guttural fricative (ɣ ~ʁ ) on both /r/ and /gh/. Standard Malay includes both coronal r (ɹ ,r ,ɾ ) and voiced guttural fricative /gh/ (ɣ ~ʁ ) as two different phonemes. To denotes the guttural r in the dialects, letter "r" often replaced by "gh" or "q" in informal writings. Standard Malay words with voiced velar fricative (ɣ ), such as loghat (Dialect) and ghaib (invisible, mystical) are mostly Arabic loanwords spelled with letter غ .
OTHER AUSTRONESIAN LANGUAGES
Other Austronesian languages with similar features are:
* Acehnese * Cham * Minangkabau (closely related to Malay that it might be dialects of the same language) * Lampungese * Southern Paiwan
OTHER LANGUAGE FAMILIES
Standard Basque uses a trill for /r/ (written as r-, -rr-, -r), but most speakers of the Lapurdian and Low Navarrese dialects use a voiced uvular fricative as in French. In the Southern Basque Country , the uvular articulation is seen as a speech defect , but the prevalence is higher among bilinguals than among Spanish monolinguals. Recently, young speakers of Lapurdian and Low Navarrese are uvularizing the tap (-r-) as well, thus neutralizing both rhotics.
Whereas standard Khmer uses an alveolar trill for /r/, the colloquial Phnom Penh dialect uses a uvular pronunciation for the phoneme, which may be elided and leave behind a residual tonal or register contrast.
Sesotho originally used an alveolar trill /r/, which has shifted to uvular /ʀ/ in modern times.
RHOTIC-AGNOSTIC GUTTURAL CONSONANTS WRITTEN AS RHOTICS
There are languages where certain indigenous guttural consonants came to be written with means used in other languages to represent rhotics, thereby giving the superficial appearance of a guttural R that may have never actually functioned as a true rhotic consonant .
The Inuit languages Greenlandic and Inuktitut either orthographize or transliterate their voiced uvular obstruent as ⟨r⟩. In Greenlandic, this phoneme is , while in Inuktitut it is . This spelling was convenient because these languages do not have non-lateral liquid consonants , and guttural realizations of ⟨r⟩ have become common in various languages of European origin. But the Alaskan Inupiat language writes its phoneme instead as ⟨ġ⟩, reserving ⟨r⟩ for its retroflex phoneme, which Greenlandic and Inuktitut do not have.
* ^ Map based on Trudgill (1974 :220) * ^ Fougeron & Smith (1993 :75) * ^ Grønnum (2005 :157) * ^ Mateus, Maria Helena & d'Andrade, Ernesto (2000) The Phonology of Portuguese ISBN 0-19-823581-X (Excerpt from Google Books) * ^ Navarro-Tomás, T. (1948). El español en Puerto Rico. Contribución a la geografía lingüística latinoamericana. Río Piedras: Editorial de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, p.91-93. * ^ López-Morales, H. (1983). Estratificación social del español de San Juan de Puerto Rico. México: UNAM. * ^ López-Morales, H. 1992. El español del Caribe. Madrid: MAPFRE, p. 61. * ^ Jiménez-Sabater, M.1984. Más datos sobre el español de la República Dominicana. Santo Domingo: Universidad Autónoma de Santo Domingo, p.87. * ^ A B Grammar of Basque, page 30, José Ignacio Hualde , Jon Ortiz De Urbina , Walter de Gruyter , 2003 * ^ Romano A. (2013). “A preliminary contribution to the study of phonetic variation of /r/ in Italian and Italo-romance”. In: L. Spreafico & A. Vietti (eds.), Rhotics. New data and perspectives Bolzano/Bozen: BU Press, 209-225 * ^ Wells, J.C. 1