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R English sound after th... [through...]

Posted: 2004-10-15, 3:07
by Strigo
Hi,

How should I pronounce the "r" after the "th" sound?

Examples :

throat
through
thrown

Is it like a Spanish r?

Posted: 2004-10-15, 3:49
by Geist
In standard American English, just pronounce the r as you would any other retroflex r. Throat, for example, sounds just like wrote, but with an initial th sound added; through is like th+rue. There is sometimes a tiny schwa inserted to transition between the two sounds (because their places of articulation are fairly far apart), but this sound, when it occurs at all, comes nowhere near the strength of a full letter. To practice, just make the voiceless th sound, then rapidly draw your tongue back to the r position and activate your vocal cords.
Hope this helps. :D

Posted: 2004-10-15, 3:52
by Geist
There is sometimes a tiny schwa inserted to transition between the two sounds (because their places of articulation are fairly far apart), but this sound, when it occurs at all, comes nowhere near the strength of a full letter.

I've been thinking about this, and the schwa I said is sometimes (rarely) inserted is probably actually just a vocalization while the tongue is still in transit.

Posted: 2004-10-15, 12:05
by avataar
Spanish-like r in English exists only in some British dialects (regional pronunciations), mostly Scottish. Otherwise you pronounce the r in ‘throat’ just like any other English r not following a vowel (like wrote, right, print, freak, tree, cream...). As for the the schwa-like sound that may appear there--no such thing if you pronounce non-retroflexive alveolar Rs [e.g. standard British ‘r’] (they are articulated closer to where ‘th’ is articulated).

Re: R English sound after th... [through...]

Posted: 2004-10-15, 12:29
by elgrande
Strigo wrote:Hi,

How should I pronounce the "r" after the "th" sound?

Examples :

throat
through
thrown

Is it like a Spanish r?


Despite what all the others have said, I do think I have often (but not most of the time) heard that particular r as a Spanish r, even from speakers who use a "normal" retroflex or alveolar r sound otherwise.

Re: R English sound after th... [through...]

Posted: 2004-10-15, 12:43
by Saaropean
elgrande wrote:Despite what all the others have said, I do think I have often (but not most of the time) heard that particular r as a Spanish r, even from speakers who use a "normal" retroflex or alveolar r sound otherwise.

What about this explanation: In order to move from the dental TH to the retroflex R, the tongue has to pass the alveolus. If you don't make a pause (or a vowel like a schwa) between TH and R, you end up tapping your tongue on the alveolus, which is at least very similar to a Spanish R. ;-)

Re: R English sound after th... [through...]

Posted: 2004-10-15, 12:54
by avataar
elgrande wrote:Despite what all the others have said, I do think I have often (but not most of the time) heard that particular r as a Spanish r, even from speakers who use a "normal" retroflex or alveolar r sound otherwise.


That's because a non-retroflex English r is either an alveolar approximant or an alveolar tap/flap/trill. And the approximant may sound to you as a tap/flap (Spanish r in pero). As for hearing the retroflex one as a Spanish one, hm... the difficult part in phonetics and phonology is hearing the difference, rather than the similarity.

Re: R English sound after th... [through...]

Posted: 2004-10-15, 13:20
by elgrande
avatarbg wrote:
elgrande wrote:Despite what all the others have said, I do think I have often (but not most of the time) heard that particular r as a Spanish r, even from speakers who use a "normal" retroflex or alveolar r sound otherwise.


That's because a non-retroflex English r is either an alveolar approximant or an alveolar tap/flap/trill. And the approximant may sound to you as a tap/flap (Spanish r in pero). As for hearing the retroflex one as a Spanish one, hm... the difficult part in phonetics and phonology is hearing the difference, rather than the similarity.


I do hear "three" with the approximant usually, but sometimes with a flap. I prefer Saar's explanation.

Posted: 2004-10-18, 19:44
by ZombiekE
Daniel wrote:Avatarbg is right. Being a Scotsman, I roll my R's, especially after consonants and before vowels, but not when it's at the end.


So do I... but with the difference that I'm not an English speaker :o

Making one of those soft R you guys do after a TH sound just looks like impossible to do for me...

As a Spanish speaker I roll all my R's after those sounds even though I haven't got to try too hard to make them softer when I'm speaking English, it's more or less easy, though sometimes I get caught with one of those motorbike-engine-like RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr :D

Posted: 2004-10-18, 21:35
by Barret VII
I would be willing to provide you guys with some recordings of American English words. I have a mic and a broadband connection so...just tell me when and how. I'd be glad to help.

Posted: 2004-10-18, 22:26
by Psi-Lord
The funny thing is that I myself use a flap in through if I'm not paying attention to it, though I use an ordinary English R everywhere else (three, throw etc.). I wonder why. ;)