Trill consonant

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In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the active articulator and passive articulator. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro, for example is an alveolar trill.

Trills are very different from flaps. Whereas with a flap (or tap), a specific gesture is used to strike the active articulator against the passive one, in the case of a trill the articulator is held in place, where the airstream causes it to vibrate. Usually a trill vibrates for 2–3 periods, but may be up to 5, or even more if geminate. However, trills may also be produced with only a single period. While this might seem like a flap, the articulation is different; trills will vary in the number of periods, but flaps do not.

Trill consonants included in the International Phonetic Alphabet:

The bilabial trill is uncommon. The coronal trill is most frequently alveolar [r͇], but dental and postalveolar articulations [r̪] and [r̠] also occur. An alleged retroflex trill found in Toda has been transcribed [ɽ] (that is, the same as the retroflex flap), but might be less ambiguously written [ɽ͡r], as only the onset is retroflex, with the actual trill being alveolar. The epiglottal trills are identified by the IPA as fricatives, with the trilling assumed to be allophonic.[1] However, analyzing the sounds as trills may be more economical.[2] There are also so-called strident vowels which are accompanied by epiglottal trill.

The cells in the IPA chart for the velar and pharyngeal places of articulation are shaded. However, a partially devoiced pre-uvular (i.e. between velar and uvular) fricative trill [ʀ̝̊˖] has been reported to occur as coda allophone of /ʀ/ in Limburgish dialects of Maastricht and Weert. It is in free variation with partially devoiced uvular fricative trill [ʀ̝̊].[3][4]

A palatal trill is impractically difficult, if not actually impossible.[citation needed] The glottis quite readily vibrates, but this occurs as the phonation of vowels and consonants, not as a consonant of its own.

The Czech language has two contrastive alveolar trills, one a fricative trill (written ř in the orthography). In the fricative trill the tongue is raised, so that there is audible frication during the trill, sounding a little like a simultaneous [r] and [ʐ] (or [r̥] and [ʂ] when devoiced). A symbol for this sound, [ɼ], has been dropped from the IPA, and it is now generally transcribed as a raised r, [r̝].

Liangshan[disambiguation needed] (Cool Mountain) Yi has two "buzzed" or fricative vowels /i̝/, /u̝/ (written ṳ, i̤) which may also be trilled, [ʙ̝], [r̝].

The Chapakuran language Wari’ and the Muran language Pirahã have a very unusual trilled phoneme, a voiceless bilabially post-trilled dental stop, [t̪͡ʙ̥].

Extralinguistic trills[edit]

A linguolabial trill [r̼] is not known to be used phonemically, but occurs when blowing a raspberry.

Snoring typically consists of vibration of the uvula and the soft palate (velum). While the former part is simply a uvular trill, there is no standard linguistic term for the latter. It does not constitute a velar trill, because the velum is here the active articulator, not the passive; the tongue is not involved at all. (The Extensions to the IPA identify a fricative pronounced with this same configuration as velopharyngeal.)

Lateral trills are also possible. They may be pronounced by initiating [ɬ] or [ɮ] with an especially forceful airflow. There is no symbol for them in the IPA. They are sometimes used to imitate bird calls, and are a component of Donald Duck talk.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ listen (epiglottal fricative)
  2. ^ John Esling (2010) "Phonetic Notation", in Hardcastle, Laver & Gibbon (eds) The Handbook of Phonetic Sciences, 2nd ed., p 695.
  3. ^ Gussenhoven & Aarts (1999:156)
  4. ^ Heijmans & Gussenhoven (1998:108)

Bibliography[edit]