velar trill (was: ~Yeshuewu)

Herb Stahlke hfwstahlke at GMAIL.COM
Tue Jun 9 18:46:24 UTC 2009


You misunderstand.  The IPA does have symbols for alveolar trill
(lower case r), alveolar tap (or flap if you prefer)(lower case r
without ascender), uvular trill (small cap R), and even bilabial trill
(small cap B).  The American English /r/, by the way, a retroflexed
central approximant, is an inverted lower case r.  It lacks a symbol
for velar trill for the very good reason that no velar trill has been
reported in human language.  The most thorough treatment of the sounds
of language, the phonetic database at the UCLA Phonetics Lab, does not
report such a sound, not because humans can't learn to produce it, as
Mark has demostrated, but because human languages have so far not made
use of it.  The IPA is, among other things, a representation of the
sounds human languages actually use.

Ease of articulation is one factor in language change, but it's far
from the only one.  If loss and development of sounds were simply a
matter of ease of articulation, then we would have no explanation for
the fact that languages not only lose but also develop some fairly
difficult sounds, difficult in the sense that they are learned later
than other sounds as children acquire the language as a native


On Tue, Jun 9, 2009 at 1:06 PM, Tom Zurinskas<truespel at> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Tom Zurinskas <truespel at HOTMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: velar trill (was: ~Yeshuewu)
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> If the iPA does not recognize these velar trills or alveolar trills (Spanish r) it is sorely lacking.  They are real.  They are the most often made sounds outside of the English foenubet (set of sounds) ref truespel book one.
> I'd say that all sounds are not equal in difficulty.  The harder ones have been dropped from USA English, like the trilled r (which you can still hear in Edison recordings, eg the word great with a multi-trilled r ~grqaet).  The most difficult sounds would seem to be those showing droppings, like ~th, ~t, ~h, ~r, ~au (awe), ~l (widow wed wabbit).  There would appear to be more mouth-work in saying them, so folks might want to work around them.
> Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+
> see
> ----------------------------------------
>> Date: Tue, 9 Jun 2009 10:06:03 -0400
>> From: thnidu at GMAIL.COM
>> Subject: Re: velar trill (was: ~Yeshuewu)
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
>> Sender: American Dialect Society
>> Poster: Mark Mandel
>> Subject: Re: velar trill (was: ~Yeshuewu)
>> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
>> Herb:
>>> There is no IPA symbol for the sound. Â Apparently IPA covers only
>>> terrestrial languages.
>> Randy:
>>> Yes, for that you'd have to use the EPA (Extraterrestrial Paraphonetic
>>> Alphabet), now under construction. Â It uses a quantum matrix of
>>> decillions of symbolic representations of a wide variety of codable
>>> media. Â A notable example is chemolfactory character set:
>>> " I'm imagining non-auditory languages. For example, one in which
>>> creatures emit chemicals and they smell each other. Imagine hundreds of thousands of chemical building blocks in a language. Very smelly."
>> I used to say with assurance that no human language would use this
>> phone (which I write phonetically as k with a tilde), at least
>> lexically, because the physical effort was too great. But as it came
>> with practice, I realized that that could be simply the same
>> lectocentrism that brands velar and uvular trills, clicks, front
>> rounded vowels, and any other phone that's not in own language as
>> "hard".
>> There are attested (in sf) olfactory languages. The citation I'm
>> thinking of, though I can't recall the title or author, is at least 45
>> years old and features two humans and an alien who is "cabin boy" of
>> his ship. Since his actual name is literally unprintable, the author
>> nicknames him "Tommy Loy", and ends the story with a very shaggy
>> allusion.
>> Klingon, however, was developedXXXXXXXX documented by a human
>> linguist, Dr. Marc Okrand, and is representable in IPA.
>> m a m
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