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Thread: Origin of guttural R

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    Elite member spongetaro's Avatar
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    Origin of guttural R




    Distribution of guttural R (e.g. [ʁ ʀ χ]) in Europe.[1]
    not usual
    only in some educated speech
    usual in educated speech
    general



    it is actually believed to have appeared after the XVIIth century because it is not found in French Canadian.

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    It looks like the guttural R did spread from Northern France to the rest of Europe like a STD. Only Spain and Italy remain as the last bastions of rolled R. Probably this is due to natural barriers (i.e. the Alps) which may have halted difussion of that cross-language phonetic trait. Another interesting thing is the social status of guttural R in European countries. I don't agree with the map, since according to its color code usage of guttural R is always either standard or used by educated people. It's not always the case, at least not in Italy:
    "As in Spanish, standard Italian considers the guttural or uvular /r/ a mistake or defect. But some north areas which have strong Gallic and Germanic influence use this form of /r/ as the main form of the phoneme."
    I know that guttural R is common among the Turinese, but it's just a dialectal trait, not standard whatsoever, just like rolled R is dialectal in Germany. How do Italian people see the guttural R in their language? Funny, classy, stupid?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    It looks like the guttural R did spread from Northern France to the rest of Europe like a STD. Only Spain and Italy remain as the last bastions of rolled R. Probably this is due to natural barriers (i.e. the Alps) which may have halted difussion of that cross-language phonetic trait. Another interesting thing is the social status of guttural R in European countries. I don't agree with the map, since according to its color code usage of guttural R is always either standard or used by educated people. It's not always the case, at least not in Italy:
    "As in Spanish, standard Italian considers the guttural or uvular /r/ a mistake or defect. But some north areas which have strong Gallic and Germanic influence use this form of /r/ as the main form of the phoneme."
    I know that guttural R is common among the Turinese, but it's just a dialectal trait, not standard whatsoever, just like rolled R is dialectal in Germany. How do Italian people see the guttural R in their language? Funny, classy, stupid?
    all western romance languages have the guttaral R as its associated with the Vulgar Latin, the eastern romance group ( central and south italy plus romania do not have it .
    Piemontese ( Turinese ) has the ligurian and savoyard ( with some franco-provencal ) in their language while the Italian dialect was diluted by Dante once he wrote Italian.
    Standard ( correct )Italian is hard to find as most regions speak Italain in their mode, their fashion, their regional/urban influences.
    Father's Mtdna H95a1
    Grandfather Mtdna T2b24
    Great Grandfather Mtdna T1a1e
    GMother paternal side YDna R1b-S8172
    Mother's YDna R1a-Z282

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    Quote Originally Posted by zanipolo View Post
    all western romance languages have the guttaral R as its associated with the Vulgar Latin
    It is hardly used in North Western Italy but in all western romance languages?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Franco View Post
    It looks like the guttural R did spread from Northern France to the rest of Europe like a STD.
    lol I once read an odd theory that it originated in Versailles because Louis XVI couldn't pronounce R properly, then its subjects tried to imitate him at the court and as the nobles were mobile at that time, they exported it into the european court!

    lol In my opinion, it is older than the XVIIIth century as I think that the Huguenot brought it to Berlin (among other city).

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    I'm not sure if this comparison of "guttural Rs" really works. After all we are not talking about one sound here but different ones. An uvular trill is not the same as an uvular fricative, and indeed the latter is much more common across languages than the former.

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    It's a fascinating topic ! I would like to add that many Flemish dialects use a guttural R too, although it is more vocal/stressed than the soft guttural R in standard French (but many French-speaking Belgians use that harsh guttural R too).

    I read that some dialects of northern England had it too (in Cumbria I think), but I can't find the reference anymore.

    I have always thought of this guttural R as more Germanic in origins. It is doubtful that it would have spread to most of Germany, all Denmark and parts of Norway if it had a recent (17-18th century) French origin. I don't think it is a coincidence that it is found in northern and eastern France, which is far more Germanised that the centre or southwest. It's a typical genetic fault line too.
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    I think eastern austrians use guttural R too.

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    by what see at Hellenistic times and text
    ancient Greeks and even Homer had r as a vowell

    the 3 in Hellenistic according the Alexandreian forms and inspirations were ρ 'ρ ρρ (r hr r'r)

    Iapetoc comparing the German Language and words like warrum etc suggested might be from Thracian origin

    the forms ρρ and 'ρ are pronounced but not marked in modern Greek, the turn is about 400 AD

    I still do not understand which is the gutullar and which is the uvular among the 3 r 'r rr
    the rr is like r'r for those who know like word αρρωρηξ

    as an example something to find easy Acts 18

    1 [a]Μετὰ ταῦτα [b]χωρισθεὶς ἐκ τῶν Ἀθηνῶν ἦλθεν εἰς Κόρινθον. 2 καὶ εὑρών τινα Ἰουδαῖον ὀνόματι Ἀκύλαν, Ποντικὸν τῷ γένει, προσφάτως ἐληλυθότα ἀπὸ τῆς Ἰταλίας καὶ Πρίσκιλλαν γυναῖκα αὐτοῦ διὰ τὸ [c]διατεταχέναι Κλαύδιον χωρίζεσθαι πάντας τοὺς Ἰουδαίους [d]ἀπὸ τῆς Ῥώμης, προσῆλθεν αὐτοῖς, 3 καὶ διὰ τὸ ὁμότεχνον εἶναι ἔμενεν παρ’ αὐτοῖς καὶ [e]ἠργάζετο, ἦσαν γὰρ σκηνοποιοὶ [f]τῇ τέχνῃ. 4 διελέγετο δὲ ἐν τῇ συναγωγῇ κατὰ πᾶν σάββατον, ἔπειθέν τε Ἰουδαίους καὶ Ἕλληνας.

    acts 9

    10 Ἦν δέ τις μαθητὴς ἐν Δαμασκῷ ὀνόματι Ἁνανίας, καὶ εἶπεν πρὸς αὐτὸν [h]ἐν ὁράματι ὁ κύριος· Ἁνανία. ὁ δὲ εἶπεν· Ἰδοὺ ἐγώ, κύριε. 11 ὁ δὲ κύριος πρὸς αὐτόν· [i]Ἀναστὰς πορεύθητι ἐπὶ τὴν ῥύμην τὴν καλουμένην Εὐθεῖαν καὶ ζήτησον ἐν οἰκίᾳ Ἰούδα Σαῦλον ὀνόματι Ταρσέα, ἰδοὺ γὰρ προσεύχεται

    as you see r in Alexandreian psilosophers was vowel taking aspirations
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I have always thought of this guttural R as more Germanic in origins. It is doubtful that it would have spread to most of Germany, all Denmark and parts of Norway if it had a recent (17-18th century) French origin. I don't think it is a coincidence that it is found in northern and eastern France, which is far more Germanised that the centre or southwest. It's a typical genetic fault line too.
    Yes it looks like the Burgudians had it apparently but I really doubt that the Franks had already it when you see the distribution in the benelux countries (Wallonia especially could have been influenced by standard French pronounciation).

    The Danes could have bring it to southern Norway and southern Sweden but the almost complete absence of guttural R in Great Britain could mean that the Danes started to pronounce this R after the middle ages.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    It's a fascinating topic ! I would like to add that many Flemish dialects use a guttural R too, although it is more vocal/stressed than the soft guttural R in standard French (but many French-speaking Belgians use that harsh guttural R too).

    I read that some dialects of northern England had it too (in Cumbria I think), but I can't find the reference anymore.

    I have always thought of this guttural R as more Germanic in origins. It is doubtful that it would have spread to most of Germany, all Denmark and parts of Norway if it had a recent (17-18th century) French origin. I don't think it is a coincidence that it is found in northern and eastern France, which is far more Germanised that the centre or southwest. It's a typical genetic fault line too.
    I think too that it could have spred from a germanic place, maybe from the Rhein-Kln area -
    firstable, the interesting map furnished in the beginning of the topic is a present day constatation - I'm astonished when I read (Spongerato) that guttural (more correct: 'laryngal') 'R' could come from a vulgar latin - almost all the Europe regions had a "dental-palatal" or apical R previously - I heard only about a guttural french 'R' in Portugal for the double 'RR' never for the simple 'R' (but final 'R' too in brasilian portugues -
    guttural uvular 'R' seams recent enough in Denmark and previoulsy a mark of social class - in France it begun around Paris (maybe farther North too?) but I believe it's old enough there (High Middle Ages?) - all the remnant of France had the classical apical 'R' or something very close until the XVIII century - in natural recent speakers of breton, the guttural 'R' is spreading now (bilingualism) but previously it was only the classical apical 'R' you could hear -
    we can think that previously the danish'R' was the classical one because it has been conserved in Jutland dialects - it seams that the guttural 'R' made is way firstable in big towns like in France -
    in germanic speaches of Elsass/Alsace, the classical apical 'R' was the rule in Southern and Central and North-Central, the 'R' being guttural (laryngal) only in the North-North and Strassburg (big town and its influence?) -
    When I was young I red something linking the guttural 'R' to the Franks or to a Rhine population of germanic origin (as a mater of fact a lot Franks tribes was coming from this region) - and I did an hypothesis: a 'HR' sound existed then in germanic at the beginning (esplosive) of words - and sometimes in a implosive position (inversion?) as in the names in -BEHRT (= BRECHT/BREGT/BRIGHT) and I imagined it could have been a "melting" of sounds??? the guttural netherlandish 'G' /GH/ plus a 'R' (>>'GR') could also explain the flemish evolution (but they knew Franks or cousins too)- for France i saw immediatly the Franks as an historical explanation of the beginning of the phenomenon because the Franks was the rulers, the first modern nobility, gentry of France, settled strongly between Paris region and Northern France, and if they had this kind of 'R' the Gallo-Romans could be tempted to mimic them by snobism - even in Germany, the spreading of this 'R' in all regions is recent - North Germany had apical 'R', not guttural, on the country - this "snobism" could have influenced the European courts where germanic origin nobility was important and where after that the french "noble" language came i the light... when you look at the scandinavian countries, there guttural 'R' seam too being come there by the towns on a first stage - populations far from the "high cultural" places of diffusion seam all have keeped a classical apical 'R' (or very close one): galic fromScotland or Ireland, scot dialect, Welsh, Icelandish, Scandinavian countryside, old France countryside and so on ...
    for the South part of Europe it could be more complex (see Portugal 'RR') and I learnd that some central dialects (Vlay-Haute-Loire) of France oppose a few words only by guttural 'R' or apical 'R' (and again I think there to an opposition 'R'><'RR' but I lack data
    just for guessing

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    Quote Originally Posted by MOESAN View Post
    I I'm astonished when I read (Spongerato) that guttural (more correct: 'laryngal') 'R' could come from a vulgar latin - almost all the Europe regions had a "dental-palatal" or apical R previously -
    Where did I say that?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Where did I say that?
    I'm confused, very sorry - it was Zanipolo -
    have a good night.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spongetaro View Post
    Where did I say that?
    I'm confused very sorry, it was Zanipolo -
    have a good night!

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