From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The 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 informally and commonly called the rolling R or rolled 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. This is partly due to ease of typesetting and partly because <r> is often the symbol used for the orthographies of such languages.
In the majority of Indo-European languages, this sound is at least occasionally allophonic with an alveolar tap [ɾ], particularly in unstressed positions. Exceptions to this include Catalan, Spanish, and Albanian, which treat them as separate phonemes.
Features of the alveolar trill:
Raised alveolar non-sonorant trill
There is a phone (different from [r]) which is commonly used in Czech (in words such as rybáři [ˈrɪbaːr̝ɪ] 'fishermen', and the common surname Dvořák). Its manner of articulation is similar but the tongue is raised; it is partially fricative. It is orthographically represented by the letter ř in Czech, and in IPA as [r̝] (before the 1989 IPA Kiel Convention, it had a dedicated symbol [ɼ]). The basic manner of pronunciation is voiced but there is also a voiceless allophone r̝̊. (Listen: Antonín Dvořák [ˈantoɲiːn ˈdvor̝aːk] (help·info))
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