Talk:Trill consonant

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Velar trill impossible[edit]

Although I'm being told everywhere that a velar trill has been judged impossible, I'm pretty confident I have little trouble pronouncing it (and it being different from the uvular and palatal trills). Hence my question: What is the reasoning and evidence with which linguists have concluded this?
--JorisvS 15:32, 1 June 2006 (UTC)

You're probably pronouncing either a velarized uvular trill (which is quite distinct in sound from a plain uvular trill), a velopharyngeal trill (soft palate trilled against the pharynx; aka snore) or just gargling saliva. What's supposedly impossible is trilling the tongue dorsum against the velum. Mind you, trilling it against the uvula is just as impossible, so the terminology is kind of misleading.
What I'd like to kno, tho, is why the palatal trill isn't judged impossible. I can pronounce everything from epiglottal implosivs to apical velars, but can't do anything even resembling that one. (Older IPA charts I've seen indeed have that struck out, but not the velar.) --Tropylium (talk) 21:58, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
It's not impossible, but it is impractical; ditto for the velar trill. I know they are possible, because I've taught myself to produce them to pronounce kifish from C.J.Cherryh's Chanur novels. The kifish language in those books is full of the digraph kk, as in hakkikt ('pirate-prince'), names like Akkukkak, and an extended interjection Kkkkkkkkkk. The kif have two sets of teeth, and this kk represents a sound they make by chattering the inner teeth together. That, of course, a human cannot do; but I worked out how to articulate a velar trill, and a palatal trill far enough back to justify writing it kk. But these take a lot of muscle tension in the tongue, and more air pressure from the lungs than we normally use in speech; so while they are definitely not impossible, they are certainly "impractically difficult" for human languages. --Thnidu (talk) 04:52, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

See also[edit]

I didn't think the Roll Up the Rim link was relevant to this at all, so I removed it. TheThinWhiteDuke 20:03, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Tongue/lip trill[edit]

I can do a trill with the tongue against the upper lip. Pretty similar to the bilabial trill, but clearly not the same sound. Is there a name for this? Grover cleveland 05:28, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

Oh, I see that's the Bronx cheer. Maybe it deserves a mention in the main article body as well as the "See also" section? Grover cleveland 05:29, 30 July 2007 (UTC)

The technical term for the Bronx cheer is linguolabial trill, which is mentioned in the Linguolabial consonant article, but it has no page of its own. It probably doesn't meet the notability requirements to have an article on the linguolabial trill and add the Bronx cheer and other paralinguistic uses of it as a subsection, since it's so rare in natural language. Though I'm not sure about that. Perhaps someone more familiar with this area and with the specifics of the notability requirements could help out? I'm no linguist. Miroku Sanna (talk) 17:11, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

What the person is talking about is NOT the Bronx cheer / blowing a raspberry. I know exactly what they're talking about because I recently learned to do it as well. You can see one form of it in this Youtube video (there are three examples, it's the middle example).

Basically, I can do three distinct linguolabial trills. The one I've been able to do all my life is the Bronx cheer. This is a very high frequency / low amplitude trill, very unlike a bilibial trill. The other two are very similar to a bilabial trill, but involve the tongue rather than one of the lips. Obviously there are two kinds - one using the lower lip and one using the upper lip. Both sound very similar. I learned the lower lip one first, though I was trying to learn the upper lip one (I was trying to use that Youtube video to learn to do an alveolar trill - still can't get it). I first learned that the lower linguolabial trill existed when I saw a friend do it when we were talking about learning the alveolar trill. The first time I managed it was immediately after doing tongue exercises - I sometimes do "pushups" with my tongue, leaning against glass and trying to use my tongue to push me away. So if you want to try to learn it as well, maybe you could try that. -- (talk) 12:46, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

Uvular trill also rare?[edit]

Would it be correct to say that outside of Europe, the uvular trill is also rare? --Tropylium (talk) 21:58, 7 December 2007 (UTC)

Dental trill?[edit]

I can pronounce something by vibrating my tongue against my incisors. It seems like it would be a "dental trill", but I can't find anything regarding such a phone. What is it? (talk) 19:38, 22 March 2008 (UTC)

Voiceless alveolar trill[edit]

Icelandic has a voiceless alveolar trill, though I am unsure whether or not it is a full phoneme or just an allophone of 'r' after certain consonants. Which is it? --Se Cyning —Preceding comment was added at 03:57, 30 March 2008 (UTC)

A laymans defintion[edit]

How about a laymens defintion. I am not a linguist and after reading half this article I still don't know what a trill. I have some incling after seeing reference to the roll up the rim link that it is rolling of the consonant. (?) I still don't know. It would be nice, and might I suggest? that you have a brief overview at the beggening, such as... "A trill is commonly undertood as.... then go into your compicated linguists deffintion (not that I am hating on that).

"Rolled R" generally refers to an alveolar trill, while the uvular trill is one of the many types of guttural R, and the bilabial trill really has no good layman's definition whatsoever. Maybe we could fudge together a term such as "rolled B", but that strikes me as just as opaiq as "bilabial trill". Still, good point, "rolled R" could make a good example. --Trɔpʏliʊmblah 10:09, 10 September 2008 (UTC)

Let us hear the diff. Trill means nothing without somecontext.-- (talk) 02:03, 28 November 2010 (UTC)

I think I understand these terms, but I'm not sure. I'm also not a linguist. I have some more questions.

Growling seems distinct from any variety of the R sound. Clearing the throat also seems distinct from growling. Coughing seems distinct from the K sound. What would be the terms for those? Thanks. (talk) 21:40, 14 January 2011 (UTC)NotWillDecker

The first two would most likely be the epiglottal trill and a voiceless epiglottal fricative (or voiceless pharyngeal fricative), respectivly. Coughing is not a specific articulation as much as an airstream mechanism. --Trɔpʏliʊmblah 22:02, 20 January 2011 (UTC)

Japanese R sound[edit]

What is the Japanese R sound called?Mwv2 (talk) 18:03, 25 January 2009 (UTC)

It's usually described as an alveolar lateral flap (so, not a trill). --Trɔpʏliʊmblah 18:54, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
It's not really lateral. Rather, it's undefined for centrality, the way Australian stops are undefined for voice (as opposed to, say, Polynesian stops, which are clearly voiceless). Just as with Australian stops, there's no letter for Japanese R in the IPA, because the IPA forces you to distinguish centrality and voicing. — kwami (talk) 06:45, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Labiodental trill[edit]

A labiodental trill is said to be possible: White in the IPA charts, and mentioned at IPA. How it would be possible and how it would sound like? --JorisvS (talk) 17:50, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

Very similar to the bilabial trill, except using just the upper lip; the teeth cannot contribute. I actually think it's easier to pull off than proper [ʙ]. I'm unaware of this being attested as a speech sound however. --Trɔpʏliʊmblah 18:48, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
I can make two distinct bilabial trills, but if I try to involve my (upper) teeth, I can't trill anything. The teeth prevent the lip from vibrating. I'll make my question more specific: how can one make one's lower lip trill with one's upper teeth against it? --JorisvS (talk) 09:21, 26 August 2012 (UTC)
I can do it rather easily. The contact with the teeth needs to be light, just like an alveolar trill (which took me years to get when I was a kid), and it feels like there's more vibration on the sides of the lip than in the center, though my lower lip's vibrating too fast to see. (I can't figure out how to do Tropylium's version with the upper lip.) Ooh, I just got a linguo-labial trill, or rather, a simultaneous dental (with the tongue) plus labiodental trill. (That's what I got when I tried increasing the trilling of the center of my lip.) There's a slight [v] flavor to the sound (of the simple labiodental trill), and it's higher pitched than the bilabial. The latter's quite a heavy sound, at least when I do it. Actually, I think a labiodental's easier for me than a bilabial. That always was an awkward consonant for me to make. — kwami (talk) 06:34, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
Hm, I was describing the sound when it was a drawn-out syllabic trill. Between vowels, [aʙ̪a] sounds rather like [avra], the way [ar̝a] sound rather like [arʒa]. — kwami (talk) 06:42, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
I was still able to do it while biting down on my lower lip, so the center of my lip can't vibrate at all. I suppose that makes that version a lateral trill, trilled in the very corners of my mouth (whatever that angle is called where the upper and lower lips meet) the way [f] is can be lateral in articulation if you bite your lip. The laterality is not an audible distinction, probably, other than vibrating at a lower frequency, much like lateral [f]. — kwami (talk) 06:53, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
@Kwami: But wouldn't that really be a bilabial trill with slight (labio)dentalization? I can make a trill where my upper teeth slightly touch my lower lip, but that's with both lips, because if I touch my upper lip with my finger, the trill stops. --JorisvS (talk) 08:38, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
No, my upper lip's not vibrating. I can press it still without any noticeable effect. — kwami (talk) 16:41, 3 April 2015 (UTC)
@Kwamikagami: What if you keep your upper lip up? I've just made a trill with a distinctly different, higher-pitched sound that not only requires the upper teeth against the lower lip, but also the upper lip pressed against the upper teeth. Hmm, and it's easy to make something that sounds like [v] + [r], similar to [r̝] sounding like [r] + [ʒ], but when I press my lower lip, nothing happens. And when I open my mouth while keeping the rest of my mouth unchanged, I get a [ʀ], which means what I pronounced is really [ʀ͡v]. I can then also easily make a lateral version. --JorisvS (talk) 08:54, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Yeah, I get that too (higher pitch). But then, I get the same effect with [f].
When you say "nothing happens", do you mean you still get the trill, or that you don't get anything? I can't articulate [ʀ]; AFAICT, my trill is strictly labiodental. Well, it was -- now I can't seem to get it. Makes me wonder if I was fooling myself. — kwami (talk) 16:35, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Right. "Nothing happens" as in that it makes no difference; I still get the exact same trill. And I can just as easily pronounce [ʀ̥͡f]. And knowing what they are, I can easily transition them to [ʀ͡β] and [ʀ̥͡ɸ], which are clearly distinct from both [ʙ] and [ʙ̝] and their voiceless counterparts. --JorisvS (talk) 18:07, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
There are obviously a whole lot of exotic trills that can be humanly articulated but which languages use scarcely if at all. The Czech ř is only scraping the surface.
In reflection, the trill I was referring to above is perhaps better called something other than labiodental, since "labiodental" canonically means "articulated using the upper teeth and the lower lip", not upper lip and upper teeth (and I have to slightly bite on my entire lower lip to clamp it away). --Trɔpʏliʊmblah 09:39, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
Ah, now I see what you mean. I think I was able to do that for a bit, now I seem to have lost it.
I think that "labiodental" is broad enough to cover that. It's just that it's usually upper teeth against lower lip. — kwami (talk) 16:35, 4 April 2015 (UTC)
I can also make a bunch of other weird sounds by directing the airflow between the upper teeth and the lips, including a trill. As I said above, a few years ago, I can make two distinct bilabial trills. One is like the linguolabial trill (at blowing a raspberry) except that it does not involve the tongue, the other one has the slaps of [r] and [ʀ] that make it easy to hear their vibration period. --JorisvS (talk) 18:07, 4 April 2015 (UTC)