LINGUIST List 10.1160

Wed Aug 4 1999

Qs: Trills, Q Consecutives, "Verlan" in Italian

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  1. Julian Bradfield, learning trills
  2. Vincent DeCaen, Q consecutives?
  3. Elmar Schafroth, "Verlan" in Italian

Message 1: learning trills

Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 12:34:02 +0200 (MDT)
From: Julian Bradfield <>
Subject: learning trills

I am one of those unfortunate native English speakers who seems
unable to learn to pronounce [r]. (At least, on good days I can
produce a 2 or 3 tap [r] in easy (e.g. intervocalic) positions, but I
can't make the sustained trill that should be simple---though I have
no problem with a sustained bilabial trill :-)

I think this particular mental block is not all that uncommon, so I
wonder if any of the colleagues on this list who teach practical
phonetics have any helpful pieces of advice on producing this sound:
ranging from precise descriptions of the tongue position before the
trill starts, to impressionism and tricks.
(There was a discussion on the "vocalist" list last year, which gave a
few singing-teachers' tips, so no need to refer me to that.)

If you would like to give any such advice, please send it to me; I
will then summarize to the list later.

As a sub-question, one of the contributors to the vocalist discussion
asserted that there is a significant number of people who are
physically unable to produce a genuine [r] as they have "sub-standard
mouths" (!). This sounds implausible to me: is there actually any
wide-spread physical inability to produce *any* common sound?
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Message 2: Q consecutives?

Date: Tue, 3 Aug 1999 12:01:40 -0400 (EDT)
From: Vincent DeCaen <>
Subject: Q consecutives?

languages like biblical hebrew, ancient egyptian, as well as zulu and
swahili, have special forms for modal coordination in sequences: there
are two forms, negation is a problem, keying on realis/irrealis
distinction, etc.
my question, do we not have such robust sequencing with special
modal-coordinate forms in other language families around the world?
Palmer in his 1986 study of mood only pointed to Fula.

Dr Vincent DeCaen <>
c/o Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, 4 Bancroft Ave., 2d floor
University of Toronto, Toronto ON, CANADA, M5S 1A1

Hebrew Syntax Encoding Initiative,
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Message 3: "Verlan" in Italian

Date: Wed, 04 Aug 99 12:03:56 +0200 (MET)
From: Elmar Schafroth <>
Subject: "Verlan" in Italian

Dear Linguists,

Does anyone know literature about the phenomenon of "verlan" 
(reverse of syllables, e.g., to cite a French example, bran-che' - 
che'-bran) in ITALIAN?
Perhaps some Italian native speaker remembers the use of such 
language games or even some examples.

Thanks a lot


PD Dr. habil. Elmar Schafroth
am Lehrstuhl fuer Romanische Sprachwissenschaft
Philosophische Fakultaet II
Universitaet Augsburg
Universitaetsstr. 10
D-86135 Augsburg
Tel.: (0821) 598-5738 (Univ.)
Tel.: (0821) 57 29 33 (priv.)
Fax.: (0821) 598-5501

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