Voiced uvular approximant
voiced uvular fricative or approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is 〈 ʁ 〉, an inverted small uppercase letter 〈 ʀ 〉, or in 1 broad transcription 〈 ɣ 〉 or (if rhotic) 〈 r 〉. This consonant is one of several collectively called guttural R when found in European languages.
Because the IPA symbol stands for both the uvular fricative and the uvular
approximant, the fricative nature of this sound may be specified by adding the uptack to the letter: 〈 ʁ̝ 〉. The approximant can be specified by adding the downtack: 〈 ʁ̞ 〉.
Features of the voiced uvular fricative:
manner of articulation is fricative, which means it is produced by constricting air flow through a narrow channel at the place of articulation, causing turbulence. In many languages it is closer to an approximant, however, and no language distinguishes the two at the uvular articulation. Its
place of articulation is uvular, which means it is articulated with the back of the tongue (the dorsum) at the uvula. Its
phonation is voiced, which means the vocal cords vibrate during the articulation. It is an
oral consonant, which means air is allowed to escape through the mouth only. It is a
central consonant, which means it is produced by directing the airstream along the center of the tongue, rather than to the sides. The
airstream mechanism is pulmonic, which means it is articulated by pushing air solely with the lungs and diaphragm, as in most sounds.
In Western Europe, a
uvular trill pronunciation of rhotic consonants spread from northern French to several dialects and citation needed registers of Basque, 2 Catalan, Danish, Dutch, German, Hebrew, Judaeo-Spanish, Norwegian, Occitan, Portuguese and Swedish. However, not all of these remain a uvular trill today. In Danish, the r is a pharyngeal approximant in all but the most conservative speech. In Brazilian Portuguese, it is usually a velar fricative ( , x ), ɣ voiceless uvular fricative [χ], or glottal transition ( , h ), except in southern Brazil and Rio de Janeiro, where alveolar, velar and uvular trills and the voiced uvular fricative predominate. Because such uvular ɦ rhotics often do not contrast with alveolar ones, IPA transcriptions may often use 〈r 〉 to represent them for ease of typesetting. For more information, see guttural R.
ты гъэ tâ ğă
[təʁa] ( · help ) info 'sun'
Aleut Atkan dialect
[tʃɑmʁul] 'to wash'
[ʁˤabos]  'croak'
[ʁɛk] ( · help ) info 'rudder'
[bːəʁ] 'to dive'
[ʁəlkɪʃ] 'he walks'
Some dialects, mainly those of North Brabant, Limburg and parts of Belgium. See
North-east Leinster 4
~ ɹ ~ ɾ in other Irish dialects. ɻ
[ʁɛste] 'to stay'
In free variation with a
uvular trill. See German phonology
May also be
trilled. See Modern Hebrew phonology
Inuktitut East Inuktitut dialect
са ған sa ğan
[sɑˈʁɑn] 'you (singular dative)'
Malay Perak dialect
Perak (name of state)' See
Norwegian Southern and southwestern dialects
By French influence Setúbal's dialect entirely merged
/ into ɾ/ /ʁ/. Often trilled. See Portuguese phonology
ru raliza r
[ʁuʁəɫiˈzaʁ] 'to ruralize'
Fluminense 7 8
[ɐʁˈdẽsjə] 'burning feeling', 'stinging'
By French influence Rio de Janeiro's dialect merged coda
/ into ɾ/ /ʁ/, what was later expanded to General Brazilian because of its intolerance to coda liquids. Often trilled (what is associated with emphatic speech in most of Brazil). If as 9 coda, generally in free variation with , ɣ and ʕ before voiced, and ɦ , x , χ and ħ before voiceless consonants h
то ҕус to g‘us
Swedish Southern dialects
, яң гыр yañ ğır
а гъи ’a g‘i
Ubykh has ten different uvular fricatives. See
ём ғир yom g‘ir
^ Based on the approximant 〈 ɹ 〉 and the general tendency to rotate letters in the IPA rather than invert them, 〈 ᴚ 〉 might be expected. However, early in the history of the IPA, that letter had been used for the voiceless fricative, now written 〈 χ 〉, paralleling 〈 ᴙ ʀ 〉 for the voiceless and voiced trills.
^ Grammar of Basque, page 30, José Ignacio Hualde, Jon Ortiz De Urbina, Walter de Gruyter, 2003
^ Dum-Tragut (2009:13)
^ Hickey (2007:?)
^ a b Hall (1993:89)
^ Cruz-Ferreira (1995:92)
^ a b (Portuguese) Rhotic consonants in the speech of three municipalities of Rio de Janeiro: Petrópolis, Itaperuna and Paraty. Page 11.
^ (Portuguese) The process of Norm change for the good pronunciation of the Portuguese language in chant and dramatics in Brazil during 1938, 1858 and 2007 Page 36.
^ (Portuguese) The acoustic-articulatory path of the lateral palatal consonant's allophony. Pages 229 and 230.
^ a b Sjoberg (1963:13)
Cruz-Ferreira, Madalena (1995), "European Portuguese", Journal of the International Phonetic Association 25 (2): 90–94, doi: 10.1017/S0025100300005223
Dum-Tragut, Jasmine (2009), Armenian: Modern Eastern Armenian, Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company
Hall, Tracy Alan (1993), "The phonology of German /ʀ/", Phonology 10 (1): 83–105, doi: 10.1017/S0952675700001743
Hickey, Raymond (2007). Irish English: History and Present-day Forms. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-85299-4
Sjoberg, Andrée F. (1963), Uzbek Structural Grammar