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Voiced dental, alveolar and postalveolar trills

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The voiced alveolar trill is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents dental, alveolar, and postalveolar trills is ⟨r⟩, and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r. It is commonly called the rolled R, rolling R, or trilled R. Quite often, ⟨r⟩ is used in phonemic transcriptions (especially those found in dictionaries) of languages like English and German that have rhotic consonants that are not an alveolar trill. That is partly for ease of typesetting and partly because ⟨r⟩ is the letter used in the orthographies of such languages.

In many Indo-European languages, a trill may often be reduced to a single vibration in unstressed positions. In Italian, a simple trill typically displays only one or two vibrations, while a geminate trill will have three or more.[1] Languages where trills always have multiple vibrations include Albanian, Spanish, Cypriot Greek, and a number of Armenian and Portuguese dialects.[citation needed]

People with ankyloglossia may find it exceptionally difficult to articulate the sound because of the limited mobility of their tongues.[2][3]

Voiced alveolar trill

Voiced alveolar trill
IPA Number122
Audio sample
Entity (decimal)r
Unicode (hex)U+0072
Braille⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235)



Features of the voiced alveolar trill:

dental (behind the upper front teeth),
alveolar (at the alveolar ridge), or
post-alveolar (behind the alveolar ridge).


A trill extended for about 2 seconds, captured in slow motion to reveal the individual 36–44 Hz tongue oscillations.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Hungarian[5] arra [ɒr̪ːɒ] 'that way' Laminal dental. See Hungarian phonology
Marshallese[6] dik[7] [r̪ʲik] 'to be small' Palatalized. The language's two other rhotic phonemes, /rˠ/ (velarized) and /rʷ/ (rounded), are post-alveolar.
Romanian[8] repede [ˈr̪e̞pe̞d̪e̞] 'quickly' Apical. See Romanian phonology
Russian[9] рьяный/ŕjaný [ˈr̪ʲjän̪ɨ̞j] 'zealous' Apical, palatalized. Usually only a single vibration, presumably due to the palatalization.[9] It contrasts with a post-alveolar trill. See Russian phonology


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Afrikaans Standard[10] rooi [roːi̯] 'red' May be a tap [ɾ] instead.[10] See Afrikaans phonology
Arabic Modern Standard راء/rá' [raːʔ] the name of the letter ر In free variation with [ɾ] by many speakers.
Aragonese sotarraño [sotaˈraɲo] 'basement' Allophone of /ɾ/.
Armenian Eastern[11] ռումբ/ŕumb [rumb] 'cannonball'
Asturian ferramienta [feraˈmjeŋta] 'tool' Allophone of /ɾ/.
Bengali রা/rat [rat̪] 'night' More commonly [ɾ ~ ɹ] for most speakers. May occur word-initially; as against [ɾ], which occurs medially and finally. See Bengali phonology
Breton roue [ruːe] 'king' Dominant in and around Léon and Morbihan while many other dialects have adopted the voiced uvular fricative. See Breton phonology
Bulgarian работа/rabota [ˈrabotə] 'work' See Bulgarian phonology
[better source needed]
Dangyang (a Southwestern Mandarin) 被子 [pei r̩] quilt
Chuvash арăслан/araslan [arəs'lan] 'lion'
Czech[14] chlor [xlɔ̝ːr] 'chlorine' Contrasts with /r̝/; may be syllabic. See Czech phonology
Danish Few speakers of the Jutlandic dialect[15] [example needed] Corresponds to much more back [ʁ ~ ʕ] in standard Danish. See Danish phonology
Dutch Standard raam [raːm] 'window' See Dutch phonology
English African-American outta the city [æə̯rəˈsɪɾi] 'out of the city' A sequence of tapped ɾ between unstressed ə may become a single trill in AAVE.
Scottish curd [kʌrd] 'curd' Only some dialects. Corresponds to [ɾ ~ ɹ] in others. See English phonology
Welsh[16] bright [braɪt] 'bright' Some dialects under Welsh influence. Corresponds to ~ ɹ] in others.
Estonian korrus [ˈkorːus] 'floor' See Estonian phonology
Finnish raaka [ˈrɑːkɑ] 'raw' See Finnish phonology
Greek Standard[17] άρτος/ártos [ˈartos] 'artos' Allophone of /ɾ/. Usual in clusters, otherwise a tap or an approximant.[17] See Modern Greek phonology
Cypriot[18][19] βορράς/vorras [vorˈras] 'north' Contrasts with /ɾ/.
Hindustani Hindi पत्थ / patthar [pət̪t̪ʰər] 'stone' See Hindustani phonology
Urdu پتھر / patthar
Indonesian getar [gətar] 'vibrate' See Indonesian phonology
Italian[20] terra [ˈt̪ɛrːä] 'earth' See Italian phonology
Japanese Shitamachi dialect から kara [kara] 'from' Allophone of /ɾ/. See Japanese phonology.
Kansai dialect
Kele[21] [ⁿrikei] 'leg'
Khmer ត្រី / trey [trəj] 'fish' or 'three' See Khmer phonology
Kyrgyz[22] ыр/ır [ɯr] 'song'
Latvian[23] rags [räks̪] 'horn' See Latvian phonology
Lithuanian ir [ɪr] 'and' See Lithuanian phonology
Malay کورڠ / kurang [kuräŋ] 'less' May be postalveolar approximant [ɹ̠], or more commonly, flap [ɾ]. See Malay phonology
Malayalam മ്മി/rummy [rəmmiː] 'rummy' See Malayalam phonology
Nepali र्रा/ghórra [ɡʱʌrːä] 'drawer' See Nepali phonology
Polish[24] krok [krɔk] 'step' Usually realized as [ɾ]. See Polish phonology.
Portuguese rato [ratu] 'mouse' Contrasts with /ɾ/. Many northern dialects retain the alveolar trill, and the trill is still dominant in rural areas. See Portuguese phonology and Guttural R.
Scots bricht [brɪçt] 'bright'
Scottish Gaelic ceart [kʲarˠʃd] 'true' Pronounced as a trill at the beginning of a word, or as rr, or before consonants d, t, l, n, s; otherwise a voiced alveolar tap. Contrasts with /ɾʲ/ and /ɾ/ intervocally and word-finally. See Scottish Gaelic phonology
Serbo-Croatian[25][26] рт / rt [r̩t] 'cape' May be syllabic.[27] See Serbo-Croatian phonology
Slovak[28] krk [kr̩k] 'neck' May be a tap, particularly when not syllabic.
Slovene[29] r [ríːʃ] 'rice' Also described as tap [ɾ],[30] and variable between trill [r] and tap [ɾ].[31] See Slovene phonology
Spanish[32] perro [ˈpe̞ro̞] 'dog' Contrasts with /ɾ/. See Spanish phonology
Swedish Some West coast and Northern dialects bra [brɑː] 'good' See Swedish phonology
Tagalog rambutan [rɐmbuˈtan] 'rambutan' Allophone of the more common [ɾ], especially with more conservative speakers.[33] See Tagalog phonology
Tamil வை/paravai [paraʋaɪ̯] 'bird' See Tamil phonology
Thai Standard ชลบุรี/chonbùri [tɕ͡ʰōn.bù.rīː] 'Chonburi'
Titan[21] [ⁿrakeiʔin] 'girls'
Ukrainian рух/ruh [rux] 'motion' See Ukrainian phonology
Welsh Rhagfyr [ˈr̥aɡvɨr] 'December' Contrasts with the voiceless alveolar trill, /r̥/. See Welsh phonology
Yiddish Standard[34] בריק/brik [brɪk] 'bridge' More commonly a flap [ɾ]; can be uvular [ɢ̆ ~ ʀ] instead.[34] See Yiddish phonology
Zapotec Tilquiapan[35] r-ree [rɘˀɘ] 'go out (habitually)' Underlyingly two sequences of /ɾ/.


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Catalan[36] ruc [ˈr̠uk] 'donkey' Contrasts with /ɾ/. See Catalan phonology
Gokana[37] bele [bēr̠ē] 'we' Allophone of /l/, medially between vowels within the morpheme, and finally in the morpheme
before a following vowel in the same word. It can be a postalveolar tap or simply [l] instead.[37]
Marshallese[38] raj[39] [r̠ˠɑtʲ] 'whale' /rˠ/ is velarized and /rʷ/ is rounded. Another rhotic phoneme in the language, /rʲ/, is dental and palatalized.
roj[40] [r̠ʷɔtʲ] 'ebb tide'
Russian[9] играть/igrať [ɪˈɡr̠ätʲ] 'to play' Contrasts with a palatalized dental trill. See Russian phonology


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
German Standard[41] Schmarrn [ʃmarn] 'nonsense' Varies between apical dental and apical alveolar; may be a tap instead.[41] See Standard German phonology

Voiced alveolar fricative trill

Voiced alveolar fricative trill
IPA Number122 429
Audio sample

In Czech, there are two contrasting alveolar trills. Besides the typical apical trill, written r, there is another laminal trill, written ř, in words such as rybáři [ˈrɪbaːr̝ɪ] 'fishermen' and the common surname Dvořák. Its manner of articulation is similar to [r] but is laminal and the body of the tongue is raised. It is thus partially fricative, with the frication sounding rather like [ʒ] but less retracted. It sounds like a simultaneous [r] and [ʒ], and some speakers tend to pronounce it as [rʐ], [ɾʒ], or [ɹʒ]. In the IPA, it is typically written as ⟨r⟩ plus the raising diacritic, ⟨⟩, but it has also been written as laminal ⟨⟩.[42] (Before the 1989 IPA Kiel Convention, it had a dedicated symbol ⟨ɼ⟩.) The Kobon language of Papua New Guinea also has a fricative trill, but the degree of frication is variable.



Features of the voiced alveolar fricative trill:


Language Word IPA Meaning Notes
Czech[43][44][45][46] čtyři [ˈt͡ʃtɪr̝ɪ] 'four' May be a non-sibilant fricative.[44] It contrasts with /r/ and /ʒ/. See Czech phonology
Dzongkha[47] རུ་ཏོག་/ru-tog [r̝uto] 'bone' Usually released as a normal trilled [r], sometimes it has a slightly fricative character vaguely reminiscent of Czech ř. Dzongkha r is followed by the low register tone.
Kashubian[48] rzéka [r̝eka] 'river' Only some northern and northwestern speakers. Formerly common over the whole speaking area.[48]
Kobon [example needed] Amount of frication variable. May also be a fricative flap[citation needed]
Ormuri Standard (Kaniguram) تڒګب/tařgab [tɑr̝geb] 'summer' Corresponds to /ʃ/ in Logar dialect.
Polish Some dialects[49] rzeka [r̝ɛka] 'river' Contrasts with /r/ and /ʐ/. Present in areas from Starogard Gdański to Malbork[49] and those south, west and northwest of them,[49] area from Lubawa to Olsztyn to Olecko to Działdowo,[49] south and east of Wieleń,[49] around Wołomin,[49] southeast of Ostrów Mazowiecka[49] and west of Siedlce,[49] from Brzeg to Opole and areas to the north,[49] and roughly from Racibórz to Nowy Targ.[49] Most speakers, as well as standard Polish, merge it with /ʐ/,[49] and speakers maintaining the distinction (which is mostly the elderly) sporadically do as well.[49] See Polish phonology
Portuguese[50] European os rins [u ˈr̝ĩʃ] 'the kidneys' Possible realization of the sequence /sr/ for speakers who realize /r/ as [r].[50] See Portuguese phonology
Silesian Gmina Istebna[51] umrz [ˈumr̝iw] '(he) died' Contrasts with /r/ and /ʒ/. Merges with /ʐ/ in most Polish dialects.
Jablunkov[51] [example needed]
Slovak Northern dialects[49][52] řyka [ˈr̝ɪkä] 'river' Only in a few dialects near the Polish border.[49] See Slovak phonology
Spanish rana [ˈr̝änä] 'frog' Possible realization of /r/ in some dialects, may also be realized as a non-sibilant alveolar fricative [ɹ̝-] or as a sibilant retroflex fricative [ʐ].
Tsakonian[53] ρζινοδίτζη [r̝inoðitɕi] 'justice of the peace' /ʒ/ appears to have been a fricative trill in the 19th century, and [ʒ] survived latterly only in women's usage in Southern Tsakonian.

See also



  1. ^ Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 221. ISBN 0-631-19815-6.
  2. ^ Chaubal & Dixit (2011), pp. 270–272.
  3. ^ Mayo Clinic (2012).
  4. ^ Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 228.
  5. ^ Siptár & Törkenczy (2000), pp. 75–76, Szende (1999), p. 104
  6. ^ Bender (1969), p. xv
  7. ^ "Marshallese-English Dictionary".
  8. ^ Ovidiu Drăghici, Limba Română contemporană. Fonetică. Fonologie. Ortografie. Lexicologie (PDF), retrieved April 19, 2013[dead link]
  9. ^ a b c Skalozub (1963), p. ?; cited in Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), p. 221
  10. ^ a b Lass (1987), p. 117.
  11. ^ Dum-Tragut (2009), p. 19.
  12. ^ 湖北方言里有颤音r (There is trill r in Hubei Dialect), 1984, retrieved 26 December 2020
  13. ^ 中国人能发大舌音"RR" ( Some Chinese can pronounciate alveolar trills "RR" )
  14. ^ Pultrová (2013), p. 22.
  15. ^ Torp (2001), p. 78.
  16. ^ Garrett, Peter; Coupland, Nikola; Williams, Angie, eds. (15 July 2003). Investigating Language Attitudes: Social Meanings of Dialect, Ethnicity and Performance. University of Wales Press. p. 73. ISBN 9781783162086.
  17. ^ a b Arvaniti (2007), pp. 14–18
  18. ^ Arvaniti (2010), pp. 3–4.
  19. ^ "βορράς", Cypriot Greek Lexicographic Database, Ερευνητικό Πρόγραμμα Συντυσές, 2011, archived from the original on 13 April 2021, retrieved 5 March 2014
  20. ^ Rogers & d'Arcangeli (2004), p. 117.
  21. ^ a b Ladefoged (2005), p. 165
  22. ^ Kara (2003), p. 11.
  23. ^ Nau (1998), p. 6.
  24. ^ Jassem (2003), p. 103.
  25. ^ Kordić (2006), p. 5.
  26. ^ Landau et al. (1999), p. 66.
  27. ^ Kordić (2006), p. 4.
  28. ^ Hanulíková & Hamann (2010), p. 374.
  29. ^ Pretnar & Tokarz (1980), p. 21.
  30. ^ Šuštaršič, Komar & Petek (1999), p. 135.
  31. ^ Greenberg (2006), pp. 17 and 20.
  32. ^ Martínez-Celdrán, Fernández-Planas & Carrera-Sabaté (2003), p. 255.
  33. ^ Schachter and Reid (2008)
  34. ^ a b Kleine (2003), p. 263
  35. ^ Merrill (2008), p. 109.
  36. ^ Recasens & Pallarès (1995), p. 288.
  37. ^ a b L.F. Brosnahan, Outlines of the phonology of the Gokana dialect of Ogoni (PDF), archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-04-03, retrieved 2013-11-24
  38. ^ Bender (1969), p. xvii-xviii
  39. ^ "Marshallese-English Dictionary".
  40. ^ "Marshallese-English Dictionary".
  41. ^ a b Mangold (2005), p. 53
  42. ^ For example, Ladefoged (1971).
  43. ^ Dankovičová (1999), pp. 70–71
  44. ^ a b Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996), pp. 228–230 and 233
  45. ^ Lodge (2009), p. 46.
  46. ^ Šimáčková, Podlipský & Chládková (2012), p. 226
  47. ^ van Driem, George. The Grammar of Dzongkha (PDF). Dzongkha Development Corporation, Royal Government of Bhutan. p. 93. Archived from the original on 2016-10-04.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  48. ^ a b Jerzy Treder. "Fonetyka i fonologia". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04.
  49. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n Gwary polskie - Frykatywne rż (ř), Gwarypolskie.uw.edu.pl, archived from the original on 2013-11-13, retrieved 2013-11-06
  50. ^ a b Grønnum (2005), p. 157
  51. ^ a b Dąbrowska (2004), p. ?
  52. ^ Dudášová-Kriššáková (1995), pp. 98.
  53. ^ Scutt, C. A. (November 1913). "The Tsakonian Dialect". The Annual of the British School at Athens. 19: 20. doi:10.1017/s0068245400009163. S2CID 163493476.



Bender, Byron (1969), Spoken Marshallese, University of Hawaii Press, ISBN 0-87022-070-5