15th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS-15)

Barcelona, Spain
August 3-9, 2003


The Articulation of the East Norwegian Apical Liquids /ɭ ɾ ɽ/

Inger Moen (1), Hanne Gram Simonsen (1), Arne Martinus Lindstad (1), Steve Cowen (2)

(1) University of Oslo, Norway
(2) Queen Margaret University College, UK

In East Norwegian there are three apical liquids, /ɭ ɽ ɾ/. /ɭ/ has traditionally been described as a retroflex lateral, /ɽ/ as a retroflex flap, and /ɾ/ as an alveolar (non-retroflected) tap or trill. Our EPG and EMA investigation of the East Norwegian apicals shows (i) individual variation with regard to retroflexion: /ɽ/ and /ɭ/ are sometimes, but not always, retroflected, and - what is more surprising - /ɾ/ is frequently retroflected; (ii) a tendency to have a more retracted area of contact for /ɽ/ than for /ɭ/ and /ɾ/; (iii) the trajectory of the tongue, combined with the velocity of the movement, distinguish the three sounds from each other. Our analyses show that the traditional classifications and descriptions do not capture the articulatory characteristics of the apical liquids.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Moen, Inger / Simonsen, Hanne Gram / Lindstad, Arne Martinus / Cowen, Steve (2003): "The articulation of the East Norwegian apical liquids /ɭ ɾ ɽ/", In ICPhS-15, 1755-1758.