- Guttural R
linguistics, guttural R (throaty R or French R) refers to pronunciation of a rhotic consonantas a guttural consonant. These consonants are usually uvular, but can also be realized as a velar, pharyngeal, or glottal rhotic. Speakers of some languages regard the alveolar and the guttural IPA|/r/ to be alternative pronunciations of the same phoneme, despite the articulatory differences.
The guttural rhotic is the usual form of the
rhotic consonantin most of what is now France, Belgium, Germany, Denmarkand the southernmost parts of Swedenand Norway. The pronuncation of a guttural rhotic is also frequent in the Netherlands. The consonant is also found other parts of the world, but in most other places it has little or no cultural association nor interchangeability with the more common alveolarand retroflexIPA|/r/.
French languageis perhaps the best known example of a language with a guttural rhotic, to the extent that this pronunciation is widely stereotyped. In the standard dialect of Paris, it is pronounced as a trill (IPA2|ʀ), while in most of the rest of northern Franceit is pronounced as a voiced (IPA| [ʁ] ) or voiceless uvular fricative(IPA| [χ] ). In much of southern France the guttural R has replaced the traditional alveolar /r/ which can now only be heard among the oldest persons.
It is not known when the guttural rhotic entered the French language, although it may have become commonplace in the mid or late eighteenth century.
Molière's " Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme", written in the seventeenth century, has a professor describe the sound of as an alveolar trill.
Rural Quebecois as well as Québécois from older generations generally use an alveolar trill, and as such this older pronunciation feature must have been retained after the French colonists in Canada were isolated from "Mother France."
French Canadian broadcasters as well as Quebec Province's urbanites, however, try to mimic the modern guttural rhotic pronunciation of Paris perhaps as the result of influence by modern French media from France.
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 flapIPA|/ɾ/ (which occurred at the end of syllables) and the alveolar trillIPA|/r/ (which occurred at syllable onset), like in Spanish. However, in the 19th century the voiced uvular fricativeIPA| [ʁ] penetrated the upper classes in the region of Lisbon in Portugal Fact|date=April 2008, and by the late 20th century it had replaced the alveolar trill in most of the country's urban areas. In the rural regions, the trill is still dominant, but most of the country's population currently lives in or near the cities. The uvular trillIPA| [ʀ] is also heard sometimes.
Setúbalidiosyncratic dialect uses the voiced uvular fricativeIPA| [ʁ] for all instances of "r" — word start, intervocalic, postconsonantal and syllable ending. This same pronunciation is attested in people with rhotacismand in non-native speakers of French origin.
In Africa, the classical alveolar trill is mostly still dominant, due to isolation.
In Brazil, on the other hand, it has developed into a
voiceless velar fricativeIPA| [x] , voiceless uvular fricativeIPA| [χ] or a voiceless glottal fricativeIPA| [h] , [ Mateus, Maria Helena & d'Andrade, Ernesto (2000) "The Phonology of Portuguese" ISBN 0-19-823581-X [http://fds.oup.com/www.oup.co.uk/pdf/0-19-823581-X.pdf (Excerpt from Google Books)] ] although the trill remains frequent in the three southernmost states and among older speakers in the city of São Paulo, before another consonant. Some dialects of Brazilian Portuguesenow use the guttural "r" rather than the flap at the end of syllablesFact|date=June 2007; hence "quatro" with IPA| [ɾ] but "quarto" with IPA| [x] , IPA| [χ] or IPA| [h] . The "caipira" dialect has the alveolar approximantIPA| [ɹ] in the same position.
Word-final rhotics may be silent when the last syllable is stressed, in colloquial speech (especially in Brazil and some African countries).
In Spanish, guttural or uvular realizations of /r/ are considered a speech defect. Generally the single flap IPA| [ɾ] , spelled "r" as in "cara" or "ir", 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 can't achieve the alveolar articulation. This said, uvular or back variants for /r/ ( [R] , [x] or [X] ) are quite spread in Puerto Rican Spanish and, to a lesser extent, in some substandard Cuban and Dominican dialects.
Breton language, spoken in Brittany(France), is a Celtic languagerather than a Romance language, but is heavily influenced by French. It retains an alveolar trill in some dialects.
Continental West Germanic
Low Franconianand Low Saxonvarieties adopted a uvular rhotic. While many of the Upper Germanvarieties maintained an alveolar trill(IPA IPA| [r] ), many Central Germanvarieties also adopted a uvular rhotic. The development of a uvular rhotic in these regions is not entirely understood, but a common theory is that these languages adopted a uvular rhotic because of French influence, though the reason for uvular rhotic in modern European French is not itself well understood (see above).
Frisian languages, though spoken in part on the continent and surrounded by guttural rhotic languages, are more closely related to English and unusually retain an alveolar rhotic.
Dutch and Afrikaans
In modern Dutch, quite a few different rhotic sounds are used. In
Belgium, the usual rhotic is an alveolar trill, but the uvular rhotic does occur, mostly in the province of Limburg, in the region around Ghentand in Brussels. In the Netherlands, the uvular rhotic is the dominant rhotic in the southern provinces of Noord-Brabant and Limburg. In the rest of the country, the situation is more complicated. The uvular rhotic is common, but not dominant, in the western agglomeration Randstad, including cities like Rotterdam, The Hagueand Utrecht (the dialect of Amsterdamusually has an alveolar rhotic though). The uvular rhotic is also used in some major cities outside of the Randstad area, such as Zwolle, Almeloand Leeuwarden. Outside of these uvular rhotic core areas, the alveolar trillis common. People learning Dutch as a foreign language also tend to use the alveolar trill because it contrasts better with the voiceless velar fricativesound IPA|/x/ in Dutch. The Afrikaans languageof South Africaalso uses an alveolar trill for its rhotic, except in the non-urban rural regions around Cape Townwhere it is uvular (called a brei).
Most varieties of Standard German are spoken with a uvular rhotic, even though the first standardized pronunciation dictionary by
Theodor Siebsprescribed an alveolar pronunciation. The alveolar pronunciation is used in some standard German varieties of South-Eastern and North-Western Germany, Austria, and especially Switzerland. In many varieties, both with a uvular rhotic and with an alveolar one, the rhotic is often vocalized at the ends of syllables. Non-standard varieties employ the alveolar trill more often.
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 Eastern Europe (and later America etc.), they brought their particular pronunciations with them.
The traditional English dialect of
Northumberlandand County Durhamuses a uvular r known as the "Northumbrian burr". [Wells, J.C. 1982. Accents of English 2: The British Isles. Cambridge University Press. Page 368]
Danish and Swedish
The pronunciation of an alveolar rhotic predominates in most of
Scandinavia, with additional retroflexpronunciations of consonant clusters IPA|/rd/, IPA|/rl/, IPA|/rn/, IPA|/rs/ and IPA|/rt/ in most of Norwayand Sweden. However, the rhotic used in Denmarkproper is a voiced pharyngeal fricative, and the Swedish region of Skånea uvular trillfor a rhotic. The Swedish as spoken in Skåne is usually considered to be a dialect of Danish, as for historical reasons it is also largely mutually intelligible with the Danish spoken across the strait in Denmark. The origin of the guttural rhotic in Denmark and Skåne is not well understood, as it was alveolar in both regions before Sweden received Skåne.
Most of Norway uses an
alveolar flap. In the western and southern part of South-Norway however, the uvular rhotic is spreading. The center of this uvular rhotic spreading is the city of Bergen.
Slavic languagesbut common in the region where it is spoken, the two Sorbian languages in eastern Germanyare typically spoken with a uvular trillrhotic, under German influence.
In Hebrew, the classical pronunciation associated with the consonant ר "rêš" was an
alveolar flap(IPA2|ɾ), and was grammatically treated as an ungeminable phoneme of the language. In most dialects of Hebrew among the Jewish diaspora, it remained a flap or a trill (IPA| [r] ). However, some Ashkenazi dialects as preserved among Jews in northern Europe carried a uvular rhotic, either as a trill (IPA| [ʀ] ) or fricative (IPA| [ʁ] ). This was because many (but not all) native dialects of Yiddish were spoken that way, and their liturgical Hebrew carried the same pronunciation.
An apparently unrelated uvular rhotic is believed to have appeared in Tiberian Hebrew.
Though an Ashkenazi Jew in
Czarist Russia, the Zionist Eliezer ben Yehudabased his Standard Hebrew on the Sephardicdialect originally spoken in Spain, and therefore recommended an alveolar R. But as the first waves of Jews to resettle in the Holy Landwere 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 Israelhas Jews whose ancestors came from all over the world, but nearly all of them today speak Hebrew with a uvular R because of its modern prestige and historical elite status.
Many Jewish immigrants to Israel spoke Arabic in their countries of origin, and pronounced the Hebrew rhotic as an alveolar trill. Under pressure to integrate, many of them began pronouncing their Hebrew rhotic as a voiced uvular fricative. However, in modern Sephardic and Mizrahi poetry and folk music, as well as in the standard (or "standardized") Hebrew used in the Israeli media, an alveolar rhotic is sometimes used.
While most dialects of Arabic retain the Classical pronunciation of ر Unicode|rāʼ as an
alveolar trill(IPA| [r] ) or tap IPA| [ɾ] , a few dialects use a uvular trill(IPA| [ʀ] ). These include:
* The dialect of
Christiandialect in Baghdad
* The Jewish dialect in
Though the guttural rhotic is rare in Arabic, uvular sounds are common in this language. The uvular fricative IPA| [ʁ] is a common standard pronunciation of the letter "ghain" (along with IPA| [ɣ] ).
* [http://www.phon.ucl.ac.uk/home/wells/ipa-unicode.htm#alfa Unicode reference for IPA]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Guttural — is a term used to describe any of several speech sounds whose primary place of articulation is near the back of the oral cavity. In some definitions this is restricted to pharyngeal consonants, but in others includes some but not all velar and… … Wikipedia
guttural — guttural, ale, aux [ gytyral, o ] adj. • 1542; du lat. guttur « gosier » 1 ♦ Qui appartient au gosier. Artère gutturale. 2 ♦ Émis par le gosier. ⇒ rauque. Toux, voix gutturale. Son guttural. ♢ Phonét. Vieilli Consonne gutturale, et n. f. une… … Encyclopédie Universelle
guttural — Adj kehlig, im Bereich der Kehle gebildet per. Wortschatz fach. (17. Jh.) Neoklassische Bildung. Neoklassische Bildung zu l. guttur Kehle . Ebenso nndl. gutturaal, ne. guttural, nfrz. guttural, nschw. guttural, nnorw. guttural. lateinisch l … Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache
Guttural — Gut tur*al, a. [L. guttur throat: cf. F. gutural.] Of or pertaining to the throat; formed in the throat; relating to, or characteristic of, a sound formed in the throat. [1913 Webster] Children are occasionally born with guttural swellings. W.… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
guttural — guttural, ale (gu ttu ral, ra l ) adj. 1° Terme d anatomie. Qui appartient au gosier. Fosse gutturale. Toux gutturale. Conduit guttural du tympan, la trompe d Eustache, qui fait communiquer le gosier avec la cavité du tympan. Poche… … Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré
guttural — ► ADJECTIVE 1) (of a speech sound) produced in the throat. 2) (of speech) characterized by guttural sounds. ► NOUN ▪ a guttural consonant (e.g. k, g). DERIVATIVES gutturally adverb. ORIGIN Latin gutturalis, from guttur … English terms dictionary
guttural — (adj.) pertaining to the throat, 1590s, from M.Fr. guttural, from L. guttur throat, gullet (see BOWEL (Cf. bowel)). The noun, in linguistics, is from 1690s … Etymology dictionary
guttural — [gut′ər əl] adj. [L guttur, throat < IE * gut , * gutr, throat < base * gēu , to curve > COD1] 1. of the throat 2. a) loosely produced in the throat; harsh, rasping, etc.: said of sounds b) characterized by such sounds [a guttural … English World dictionary
Guttural — Gut tur*al, n. A sound formed in the throat; esp., a sound formed by the aid of the back of the tongue, much retracted, and the soft palate; also, a letter representing such a sound. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Guttural — (lat. guttur „Kehle“) bezeichnet einen im Kehlbereich gebildeten Laut, siehe Gutturaler Laut eine Gesangtechnik, die vorwiegend im Metal angewandt wird Diese Seite ist eine Begriffsk … Deutsch Wikipedia
Guttural — Guttural, lat. deutsch, zur Kehle gehörig; G.laute, Kehllaute … Herders Conversations-Lexikon