Gah, the "alveolar trill" is driving me mad

By Nikolaos, in 'Pronunciation, Spelling and Listen to Latin', Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Quintilianus Member

    Location:
    France
    Thanks for your replies.
    I didn't mean a real guttural vibration but kind of a incidental sensation in the back of the palate (so a little like a french r, before I started searching for the alveolar trill if someone had asked me I would have told him the french R was in the palate, the back of the palate, it's only by searching for the alveolar trill that I've read the french R is actually in the throat, when I thought of the throat it was way back down for me, I guess I have terrible feelings there).
    I'll just try to do it again and again, I'm giving me till the end of this year after that I'll just reduce my practising.
    I guess I have some psychological blocking, cause I'm pretty sure I've never done it even as child imitating machine guns, I've never done that.
  2. Imperfacundus Reprobatissimus

    • Civis Illustris
    The only vibrations I feel are up front where the tongue is doing the trilling. Comment essayez-vous de le faire?
  3. Quintilianus Member

    Location:
    France
    I blow and lift the tongue up.
    It sometimes produce kind of a trill, but it has to be voiced and it doesn't even last one second. If I put more air flow, then I fall back on a guttural sound, but the sound isn't the same with the tongue lift up or not, it can somehow make it vibrate and I thought that perhaps by working this way I'd get eventually to a nice and proper trill.
  4. Quintilianus Member

    Location:
    France
    At least the trilled R isn't driving crazy only those who can't do it.


    There is still some justice left in this world. :D
  5. Quintilianus Member

    Location:
    France
    I've realised these last days that I can do a trill but... with a high-pitched voice, otherwise (voiceless or with a lower voice) I just can't seem to get the right air flow with enough strength, either I go back to a guttural trill if I try to use much strength or else (with an air flow that doesn't make a guttural r) my tongue doesn't vibrate (except for less than one second with voice and I'm pretty sure I'll go nowhere starting from this point because that's already several months I can do this without making any progress)
    If anyone here has an explanation of the reason why it's possible for me with an high-pitched voice I'd be very much grateful (something to do with the diaphragm ?)
  6. Claof Member

    I can trill an R just fine, until I try to put it into a word. I know Latin uses trilled R's.

    Any tips for putting a trill into a word?
  7. Imperfacundus Reprobatissimus

    • Civis Illustris
    Well, maybe practice adding a vowel before- ar, or, etc. Next step would be to add on another consonant. See if that works.
  8. Iohannes Aurum Technicus Auxiliarius

    • Technicus Auxiliarius
    Merged threads
  9. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    Also the short "r" (not geminated) might have as well been just a flap like in Spanish or in non-emphatic positions also in many (or most) Slavic languages. That is, the same kind of touch that you do with your tongue to trill well, but just 1 touch, no repetition. The "rr", though, would have mostly certainly been a trill.
  10. Quintilianus Member

    Location:
    France
    I thought the flapped r was not the same as just a trill with one repetition.

    By the way, for those of you who can roll naturally, how the hell do you do a rolled "r" after an "l" ? One year ago when I started wondering about this sound I didn't even know it was not with the back of the mouth, now I can more or less roll but it takes me time and is not at all light and natural, but how you roll it just after an "l" I can't even begin to imagine, because the tongue is already up and to trill you're supposed to make that happen after blowing. For example "Walras", I've tried a few times and I'm not able to pronounce it, maybe I should work more this way, the more tricky it is to me now the more it will perhaps make me understand what is wrong with my (hardly)trilling "Rs".
  11. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    Well, it differs solely in the parts where the tongue transitions between individual repetitions, otherwise it's the same (since the 'trill' is often used in such languages as mine for emphasis and emphasis is usually nothing else but prolonging phonetically = which means here more repetitions).

    No problem, but usually they are parts of two separate syllables. The only word I thought about at the moment is how we in Czech pronounce "Balrog" (=just like you would in Latin properly) where it is bal-rog. I can't think of a word atm where lr would be in one syllable.

    Exactly what I just mentioned. you pronounce "wal" and then "ras"... I can't see obviously what the problem is (in the attachment I'll post a recording how I would pronounce with the Czech phonology which would be the same in this case as the Latin one, granted that "w" is pronounced as a labiodental fricative)), but if I ponder about how I do it: well, the tongue simply goes back forward and on its way it does the flap or trill. In the attachment I'll post both with "rather flap" and then with a trill.

    (I think that trying to trill it too much, I shifted the accent, but ... w/e :D)

    Attached Files:

    Quintilianus likes this.
  12. Quintilianus Member

    Location:
    France
    Well, exactly what I can't do :D Or (very) hardly

    Thanks for your recording. You seem to be pronouncing a vowel between the two syllables.
    But interesting you say it goes forward, the "l" then is more in the back.
    I'll work on it anyway. I've kind of sworn to myself that I wouldn't stop trying for this, I let down too many things before.


    For the Balrog, I didn't know you had those ancient demons in your country, you won't see me there. :D Though I'd be interested in some truesilver if ever you got some.
  13. Godmy A Monkey

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Bohemia
    No problem :)

    It's rather that "l" and "r" are both semi-vocalic in having some middle vowel (schwa like) inside them in such environments. (that's also how I can have such words in Czech as vlk or brk...)

    ^Work, work! :)

    <- I just thought about the Lord of the Rings :p
  14. Quintilianus Member

    Location:
    France
    I'm beginning ancient Greek.
    It's even worse than in Latin since there is an equivalent of the german 'ch'. The distinction between 'χ' and 'ρ' makes it even more important to pronounce the trill correctly... :eek: (especially since those two seem to be quite often together as in 'Χρόνος')
    I might try hypnotism eventually. :D
    "You're a 3 year-old spaniard, you successfully roll you first R, you former inability is gone..." :D
    Last edited by Quintilianus, Feb 5, 2017
  15. Imperfacundus Reprobatissimus

    • Civis Illustris
    Heh. That χ sort of verges on your native r, doesn't it ? That's the sound I used to approximate it before I realized ɣ was closer.
  16. Quintilianus Member

    Location:
    France
    Oh that sound is not a problem, but since it's close to my native r, it's even more important to produce a proper alveolar trill.
  17. metrodorus Civis Illustris

    • Civis Illustris
    Location:
    Londinium
    We actually have no undisputed opinion about how the educated Romans pronounced their 'r', except for that it was consistently pronounced, and that it was a rather strongly pronounced letter, likened to the sound an irritated dog makes. It was probably stronger than the soft r currently used by Italians.

    This may have been a trill, or it may have been a totally different type of trilled pharyngeal r, using the rear of the tongue (a 'dark' r) . The Cambridge Philological Society Guidelines are that it should be pronounced clearly with a trill, as done by some French (some parts of France use a dark trilled r, others a more forward 'lighter' trilled r) and some Scottish speakers, who have quite a rough r sound; alight frontal trill is my method of rendering it, but that is a personal choice.

    If you search on openlibrary . org for 'The Pronunciation of Latin in the Augustan Period' (1887) you will find some simple pronunciation guidelines; these largely are in accord with those of WS Allen's Vox Latina. Allen was also a member of this society. There are also excellent guidelines on the ARLT website, under 'Latin Pronunciation', with additional 'helps' to pronunciation.
    Bestiola likes this.

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