Retroflex trill

ɽ͡r
IPA number 125 433 122
Encoding
Entity (decimal) ɽ͡r
Unicode (hex) U+027DU+0361U+0072

The retroflex trill is a sound that has been reported in Toda and confirmed with laboratory measurements. Peter Ladefoged transcribes it with the IPA symbol that is normally associated with the retroflex flap, ɽ. Although the tongue starts out in a subapical retroflex position, trilling involves the tip of the tongue and causes it to move forward to the alveolar ridge. Thus, the retroflex trill gives a preceding vowel retroflex coloration, like other retroflex consonants, but the vibration itself is not much different from an alveolar trill. Thus, the narrower transcription ɽ͡r is also appropriate.

Wahgi has a similar trilled allophone of its lateral flap, [̥r̥], but it is voiceless.

Wintu and Lardil are other languages with a reported (apico-)retroflex trill where the tongue apex "approaches" the hard palate, but it is not subapical, unlike in Toda. The trill has a retroflex flap allophone that occurs between vowels.

Several languages have been reported to have trilled retroflex affricates such as [ɳɖ͡ɽ̝] and [ʈ͡ɽ̝̊], including Mapudungun, Malagasy and Fijian. However, the exact articulation is seldom clear from descriptions.

In Fijian, for example, further investigation has revealed that the sound (written dr) is seldom trilled but is usually realized as a postalveolar stop [n̠d̠] instead. In Mapudungun, the sound (written tr) is strongly retroflex, causing /l/ and /r/ following the subsequent vowel to become retroflex as well. The southern dialect varies between /ʈɽ/ and /ʈʂ/, but it is not clear whether the letter ɽ represents a trill or a non-sibilant fricative.

Occurrence

Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Dutch North Brabant[1] riem [ɽ͡rim] 'belt' A rare variant of /r/, which occurs almost exclusively word-initially.[2] Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology
North Holland[1]
Toda[3] [kaɽ͡r] 'pen for calves' Subapical. Toda contrasts plain and palatalized fronted alveolar, alveolar and retroflex trills.[3]
Wintu[4] Apical

Notes

References

  • Goeman, Ton; Van de Velde, Hans (2001), "Co-occurrence constraints on /r/ and /ɣ/ in Dutch dialects", in van de Velde, Hans; van Hout, Roeland, 'r-atics, Brussels: Etudes & Travaux, pp. 91–112, ISSN 0777-3692 
  • Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8. 
  • Pitkin, Harvey (1984), Wintu grammar, Berkeley: University of California Press., ISBN 0-520-09612-6 


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