Voiced alveolar trill

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Alveolar trill
IPA number122
Entity (decimal)r
Unicode (hex)U+0072


The voiced alveolar trill is a type of consonant. It is found in some spoken languages. It is usually called the rolled R, rolling R, or trilled R. The International Phonetic Alphabet letter for this sound is ⟨r⟩. The X-SAMPA symbol for this sound is r.

Dictionaries of languages like English and German sometimes use the symbol ⟨r⟩. They have rhotic consonants that are not an alveolar trill. This is because typing the letter r is easier.

In many Indo-European languages, this sound is sometimes an allophone of the alveolar tap [ɾ]. This happens especially in unstressed syllables. Some languages like Catalan, Spanish, Albanian and some Portuguese treat these as two different sounds.

Features[change | change source]

Examples[change | change source]

Language Word IPA Meaning
Arabic رأس [rɑʔs] 'head'
Dutch rood audio speaker icon[roːt]  'red'
English Scottish curd [kʌrd] 'curd'
French southern France and Corsica rouge [ruʒ] 'red'
German some dialects Schmarrn audio speaker icon[ʃmaːrn]  'nonsense'
Hindi घर [ɡʱər] 'house'
Italian[1] terra [ˈtɛrra] 'earth'
Malay Standard arah [arah] 'direction'
Russian[2] играть [ɪˈɡr̠atʲ] 'to play'
Spanish[3] perro [ˈpe̞ro̞] 'dog'

Raised alveolar non-sonorant trill [change | change source]

In Czech, there are two different alveolar trills. There is the normal trill, written r. There is also another trill, written ř. This is found in words such as rybáři [ˈrɪbaːr̝ɪ] ('fishermen'), čtyři ('four'), and the common surname Dvořák. The way it is pronounced is similar to [r] but the tongue is raised. This other trill is partially fricative, with the frication sounding rather like [ʒ], though not so retracted. Thus in the IPA it is written as ⟨r⟩ plus the raising diacritic, ⟨⟩. (Before the 1989 IPA Kiel Convention, it had a dedicated symbol ⟨ɼ⟩). It is normally voiced, but there is a voiceless allophone [r̝̊] as with many other Czech consonants.

Listen: audio speaker icon[r̝] 

References[change | change source]

  1. Rogers, Derek; d'Arcangeli, Luciana (2004), "Italian", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 34 (1): 117–121, doi:10.1017/S0025100304001628, S2CID 232345223
  2. Skalozub, Larisa (1963), Palatogrammy i Rentgenogrammy Soglasnyx Fonem Russkogo Literaturnogo Jazyka, Izdatelstvo Kievskogo Universiteta; cited in Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996), The Sounds of the World's Languages, Blackwell Publishing, ISBN 0-631-19815-6
  3. Martínez-Celdrán, Eugenio; Fernández-Planas, Ana Ma.; Carrera-Sabaté, Josefina (2003), "Castilian Spanish", Journal of the International Phonetic Association, 33 (2): 255–259, doi:10.1017/S0025100303001373, S2CID 232344066