Voiced uvular fricative
|Voiced uvular fricative|
|Voiced uvular approximant|
The voiced uvular fricative or approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is ⟨ʁ⟩, an inverted small uppercase letter ⟨ʀ⟩, or in broad transcription ⟨ɣ⟩ or (if rhotic) ⟨r⟩. This consonant is one of several collectively called guttural R when found in European languages.
Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996) note that "There is, however, a complication in the case of uvular fricatives in that the shape of the vocal tract may be such that the uvula vibrates." See voiced uvular raised non-sonorant trill for more information.
Because the IPA symbol stands for both the uvular fricative and the uvular approximant, the fricative nature of this sound may be specified by adding the uptack to the letter: ⟨ʁ̝⟩. The approximant can be specified by adding the downtack: ⟨ʁ̞⟩.
For a voiced pre-uvular fricative (also called post-velar), see voiced velar fricative.
Features of the voiced uvular fricative:
- Its manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence. In many languages it is closer to an approximant, however, and no language distinguishes the two at the uvular articulation.
- Its place of articulation is uvular, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the uvula.
- Its phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation.
- It is an oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only.
- It is a central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides.
- The airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.
In Western Europe, a uvular trill pronunciation of rhotic consonants spread from northern French to several dialects and registers of Basque, Catalan, Danish, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Judaeo-Spanish, Norwegian, Occitan, Portuguese and Swedish. However, not all of these remain a uvular trill today. In Brazilian Portuguese, it is usually a velar fricative ([x], [ɣ]), voiceless uvular fricative [χ], or glottal transition ([h], [ɦ]), except in southern Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, where alveolar, velar and uvular trills and the voiced uvular fricative predominate. Because such uvular rhotics often do not contrast with alveolar ones, IPA transcriptions may often use ⟨r⟩ to represent them for ease of typesetting. For more information, see guttural R.
|Abkhaz||цыҕ||[tsəʁ]||'marten'||See Abkhaz phonology|
|Adyghe||тыгъэ tâğă||[təʁa] (help·info)||'sun'|
|Aleut||Atkan dialect||chamĝul||[tʃɑmʁul]||'to wash'|
|Arabic||Modern Standard||غرفة||[ˈʁurfɐ]||'room'||May be velar, post-velar or uvular, depending on dialect. See Arabic phonology|
|Danish||Standard||rød||[ʁ̞ɶð̞]||'red'||Either a fricative (also described as voiceless [χ]) or an approximant. Also described as pharyngeal [ʕ̞]. See Danish phonology|
|Dutch||Belgian Limburg||rad||[ʁɑt]||'wheel'||Either a fricative or an approximant, depending on the speaker. Realization of /r/ varies considerably among dialects. See Dutch phonology|
|English||Dyfed||red||[ʁɛd]||'red'||Not all speakers. Alveolar in other Welsh accents.|
|North-east Leinster||Corresponds to [ɹ ~ ɾ ~ ɻ] in other Irish dialects.|
|Northumbrian dialect||Described both as a fricative and an approximant. More rarely it's a trill [ʀ]. It's a dialectal "Northumbrian Burr", mostly found in eastern Northumberland, declining. See English phonology|
|Sierra Leonean||More rarely a trill [ʀ].|
|French||rester||[ʁɛste]||'to stay'||See French phonology|
|German||Lower Rhine||Rost||[ʁɔst]||'rust'||Either a fricative or, more often, an approximant. In free variation with a uvular trill. See German phonology|
|Swabian German||[ʁ̞oʃt]||An approximant. It's the realization of /ʁ/ in onsets, otherwise it's an epiglottal approximant.|
|Hebrew||רע||[ʁa]||'bad'||May also be trilled. See Modern Hebrew phonology|
|Inuktitut||East Inuktitut dialect||marruuk||[mɑʁʁuuk]||'two'|
|Kazakh||саған sağan||[sɑˈʁɑn]||'you (singular dative)'|
|Malay||Perak dialect||Perak||[peʁɑk̚]||'Perak (name of state)'||See Malay phonology|
|Norwegian||Southern dialects||rar||[ʁ̞ɑːʁ̞]||'strange'||Either an approximant or, more rarely, a fricative. See Norwegian phonology|
|Portuguese||European||carro||[ˈkaʁu]||'car'||Due to French influence, Setúbal's dialect entirely merged /ɾ/ into /ʁ/. Often trilled. See Portuguese phonology|
|Fluminense||ardência||[ɐʁˈdẽsjə]||'burning feeling', 'stinging'||Due to French influence, Rio de Janeiro's dialect merged coda /ɾ/ into /ʁ/, which was later expanded to General Brazilian because of its intolerance for coda liquids. Often trilled (which is associated with emphatic speech in most of Brazil). If as coda, generally in free variation with [ɣ], [ʕ] and [ɦ] before voiced, and [x], [χ], [ħ] and [h] before voiceless consonants|
|Swedish||Southern dialects||rör||[ʁɶʁ]||'pipe(s)'||See Swedish phonology|
|Ubykh||[ʁa]||'his'||Ubykh has ten different uvular fricatives. See Ubykh phonology|
|Upper Saxon||Chemnitz dialect||Rock||[ʁɔkʰ]||'skirt'||Either a fricative or an approximant; they're in free variation with [ʀ̥], [χ] and [q]. Doesn't occur in the coda.|
|Yiddish||רעגן||[ˈʁɛɡŋ]||'rain'||See Yiddish phonology|
- Based on the approximant ⟨ɹ⟩ and the general tendency to rotate letters in the IPA rather than invert them, ⟨ᴚ⟩ might be expected. However, early in the history of the IPA, that letter had been used for the voiceless fricative, now written ⟨χ⟩, paralleling ⟨ᴙ ʀ⟩ for the voiceless and voiced trills.
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