Random interesting things I found in the English language

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tungemål
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Re: Random interesting things I found in the English language

Postby tungemål » Wed Apr 07, 2021 9:55 am

Flapped R in American English

Here is a thing I've been wondering about for a while.

An advice often given to US americans for learning the rolled r, is to pronounce it like the US pronunciation of "d", for instance the middle sound in "better".

The middle "t" will be pronounced like a "d" in US pronunciation. But is it similar to a rolled "r"? That has never made any sense to me, since to me "d" and "r" are completely different.

Untill now, when I've started to notice that indeed, americans do pronounce it like an "r". So "better" sounds to me like "bere". If you look it up on wiktionary you'll see that one of the pronunciations given is with ɾ - a flapped r.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/better#Pronunciation

So does this happen consistently, so that "I had a " will become "I haɾa"?

Edit: As Dragon27 pointed out I was a bit careless with the terminology. Rolled r and flapped r are technically different. But to me, they are more or less the same - basically an r-sound. That's why it's interesting that Americans will perceive the sound as "d".
Last edited by tungemål on Wed Apr 07, 2021 5:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Dragon27
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Re: Random interesting things I found in the English language

Postby Dragon27 » Wed Apr 07, 2021 10:07 am

It's not a "rolled" (if by "rolled" you mean "trilled") r, it's a tap or flap sound:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flapping
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiced_de ... _and_flaps
It is similar to the sound of a single "r" in Spanish (although some phoneticians may differentiate them), but the sound of geminated "rr" is a bit more difficult (since it doesn't consist of just a single flap).
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