dog's letter

Charles Doyle cdoyle at UGA.EDU
Tue Jan 8 17:13:40 UTC 2008

And in New York City dogs (if there are any) say [g^], as they do in Boston (if there are any) and The South (where there are many).


Date:         Tue, 8 Jan 2008 10:59:52 -0500
Reply-To:     American Dialect Society <[log in to unmask]>
From:         Laurence Horn <[log in to unmask]>
Subject:      Re: dog's letter

At 3:46 PM +0000 1/8/08, Tom Zurinskas wrote:
>The below from Wordsmith
>dog's letter (dogz LET-uhr) noun = The letter R.
>[From Latin littera canina, literally dog's letter. In Latin the sound of the letter R was trilled. Think Grrr! of a snarling dog. A good example of a trilling R is none other that the Spanish word for a dog: perro.]
>Is "grrrr" the right kind of trill?
>Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL5+

I wondered about that too when I saw the Wordsmith post.  Presumabl the dog's trill is uvular (as in standard French or German, although those are sometimes flaps if I'm not mistaken), while the Spanish one (and I assume its Latin precursor) is dental.  I've heard dogs in Spain, and even they don't use a dental growl.  But I guess a rhotic is a rhotic.


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