Guttural R - Romance Languages - French


The French language is perhaps the best known example of a language with a guttural rhotic, to the extent that this pronunciation is widely stereotyped. While there are a wide range of realizations – the uvular trill, the uvular fricatives and (the latter also realized as an approximant), the alveolar trill, the alveolar tap, will all be recognized as the phoneme /r/ – most of them will be considered dialectal. For example, was once typical of a working class Parisian accent, while is sometimes found in southern France, as well as increasingly less in North America..

Today in northern France, /r/ is commonly pronounced as a voiced or voiceless uvular fricative . is also the most common pronunciation in the French media. In much of southern France this guttural R has replaced the traditional alveolar trill which can now only be heard among the oldest persons.

It is not known when the guttural rhotic entered the French language, although it may have become commonplace in the mid or late eighteenth century. Molière's Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme, written in the seventeenth century, has a professor describe the sound of /r/ as an alveolar trill.

Rural Quebec French as well as Quebec French from older generations generally use an alveolar trill, as was traditionally the pronunciation in Western Quebec (including Montreal) and other parts of Canada, and as such this older pronunciation feature must have been retained after the French colonists in Canada were isolated from "Mother France."

French Canadian broadcasters as well as Quebec's urbanites, however, have adopted the modern guttural rhotic pronunciation of Paris perhaps as the result of influence by modern French media from France.

Generally speaking, classical choral and operatic French pronunciation requires the use of an alveolar trill when singing, since an alveolar trill is easier to project than any guttural sound, be it a uvular trill or a uvular fricative.

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Other articles related to "french":


French is the adjective form of France and usually refers to:

  • Something of or related to the nation of France
    • French cuisine
    • French language, a Romance language originating in what is now northern France
    • French people, inhabitants of France or people having family origins in France
  • French catheter scale, a gauge system commonly used to measure the size of a catheter
  • French (surname)
  • French Open, one of the four major tennis tournaments
  • French defence, a chess opening (1 e4 e6)
  • French River, Colchester, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • French River, Pictou, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • French River (Ontario), Canada
  • French River (Massachusetts), Massachusetts
  • French's, an American manufacturer of mustard condiment
Paris - Sociology
... It has long been known as French high society's favorite place of residence, comparable to New York's Upper East Side, LA's Beverly Hills or London's Mayfair and Belgravia, to such an extent ... of the area has played a prominent role throughout French history and is still highly vivid in nowadays' French elite ... area but also a social attitude symbolized by French high society's habits and way of life ...
Paris - Administration - Intercommunality
... reasons for such incoherence has been the fear felt by the French State in front of such a huge agglomeration and the desire to tap its wealth ... and the City reached a climax with the Revolution of 1871 (La Commune) the French Assembly in Bordeaux decided Paris would no longer be the capital city, while the Paris Commune discussed declaring ... Since then, one of the foundations of the centralized French State has been to widely distribute Paris wealth while depriving the agglomeration and keeping it divided into 8 departments and 200 ... communes ...
Clipperton Island - History - Recent Developments
... by sport fishermen, regularly scheduled patrols of the French Navy, and by Mexican tuna and shark fishermen ... In 1962, the independence of Algeria threatened French nuclear testing sites within that nation ... The French Ministry of Defence considered Clipperton as a possible replacement location however, due to the island's hostile climate and remote location, this was eventually ...
French Materialism
... French materialism is the name given to a handful of French 18th century philosophers during the Age of Enlightenment, many of them clustered around the salon of Baron d'Holbach ... Prominent French materialists of the 18th century include Julien Offray de La Mettrie Denis Diderot Baron d'Holbach Claude Adrien Helvétius Pierre-Jean ...

Famous quotes containing the word french:

    The German intellect wants the French sprightliness, the fine practical understanding of the English, and the American adventure; but it has a certain probity, which never rests in a superficial performance, but asks steadily, To what end? A German public asks for a controlling sincerity.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    One thing that makes art different from life is that in art things have a shape ... it allows us to fix our emotions on events at the moment they occur, it permits a union of heart and mind and tongue and tear.
    —Marilyn French (b. 1929)

    Central heating, French rubber goods, and cookbooks are three amazing proofs of man’s ingenuity in transforming necessity into art, and of these, cookbooks are perhaps most lastingly delightful.
    M.F.K. Fisher (b. 1908)