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Trilled 'R's in Sindarin

Trilled 'R's in Sindarin

PostAuthor: Parthgilien74 » Wed Jan 13, 2010 2:12 am

Suilad ~

Quote from Luthien ~

The thing that was hardest was to get the _r_ right. It turns out that, until the 1970's, Dutch used to have a similar trilled _r_ as the Sindarin one (and the Spanish one, though that _r_ is much stronger) but almost no-one today can do that - the Dutch _r_ has been "Anglified". The toughest _r_ I still find the one in taur, probably because the _r_ directly after the _u_ demands that the tongue has to shift from a very different position - plus that the _a_ to _u_ transition also seems rather tough. When the _r_ is at the beginning of a word - like in _ring_ - it almost comes by itself.


You may already know this, but I learned from my study of Tengwar that there are actually two 'r's, with different pronounciations, depending on where they appear in a word.

'Romen'
Tengwa_romen.gif
Romen
Tengwa_romen.gif (254 Bytes) Viewed 11057 times
is used at the beginnings of words, and is usually trilled.

'Ore'
Tengwa_ore.gif
Ore
Tengwa_ore.gif (242 Bytes) Viewed 11057 times
is used in the middle and at the ends of words, and is usually not trilled. It's hard to trill a letter in the middle of the word, and whether or not an 'R' is trilled at the end of a word would probably be based on the speaker's pattern of speech ore than anything else.

just thought you'd be interested in knowing...

Parthgilien
I Aear cân ven na mar.
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Re: Trilled 'R's in Sindarin

PostAuthor: atwe » Wed Jan 13, 2010 11:48 am

May I ask where this assumption comes from? LotR Appendix E explicitly states that R is trilled in all positions in both Quenya and Sindarin. Moreover the mode of Beleriand uses rómen for R in all positions, óre is used for N.
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Re: Trilled 'R's in Sindarin

PostAuthor: Aran » Wed Jan 13, 2010 1:51 pm

is used in the middle and at the ends of words, and is usually not trilled. It's hard to trill a letter in the middle of the word, and whether or not an 'R' is trilled at the end of a word would probably be based on the speaker's pattern of speech ore than anything else.

The 'untrilled r' you are referring to originally appeared in Quenya:
Thus 21 [óre] was often used for a weak (untrilled) r, originally occurring in Quenya and regarded in the system of that language as the weakest consonant of the tincotéma (App.E)
Tolkien usually transcribes it as ř and also calls it untrilled spirantal r (as commonly heard in English dry) (PE17:71). This sound is otherwise called a 'flap' and appears in Japanese, for example. In Quenya ř appeares by a process called rhotacism from ð or z, but later coincides with trilled 'r'.
The usage of rómen vs. óre in Sindarin presumably has purely aesthetical reasons - for instance, the convex shape of óre might looks better at the end of words.

And no, it is not hard to trill an 'r' in the middle of a word, I do it all the time. :-)
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Re: Trilled 'R's in Sindarin

PostAuthor: Lúthien » Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:28 pm

I moved this topic here since it seems more appropriate in this section :)

I really want to reply to this but I have been crazily busy ... this R is really interesting, and I have a lot to ask.
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Re: Trilled 'R's in Sindarin

PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Sat Jan 16, 2010 6:35 am

This explains a lot, thank you. Having two Rs to work with sometimes gives one choice too many.

I know this is the Sindarin section, but there's a related question I have about using rómen and óre in tengwar writing, in this case concerning Quenya. If you can help, I'd be grateful, because I'm unsure now about having used rómen rather than óre in the last letter of calmallar in the script on our home page.

At the time of writing I actually went and read up Appendix E of LOTR, and took encouragement from Professor Tolkien's advice, which is precisely as Atwe mentions in the earlier post: "R represents a trilled r in all positions".

I've now listened back to a recording of Professor Tolkien reading the Namárië poem, and there's no doubt he is trilling the Rs throughout. However, looking at his own tengwar version of the lament, final Rs are invariably written using óre (for example, in lantar, rámar, yuldar and avánier - and that's just from the first three lines).

I really would appreciate your guidance on this. If a fresh version is needed for our home page, I will prepare it and ask our friend Lúthien to set it in place. As you can tell, we took inspiration from the inscription on the Moria Gate, with one drawing the signs and the other making them appear on the forum site.

It would be disappointing if a prospective member were dissuaded from registering because of a slip-up on the home page. Someone with that degree of knowledge is just the person we want to attract.

With thanks in advance
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Re: Trilled 'R's in Sindarin

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:17 am

Huanarmo,

I made just that mistake myself when starting to write in Tengwar. Romen is always used at the beginning and also in the middle of words [i]if it is followed by a vowel[/i]; ore is used if a consonant follows, and when it is the last letter.

It's a matter of aesthetics, there's no difference in the sounds they represent, it's how the word looks.

And, there you go, I should have spotted your romens on the Opening Page!! You should have an ore in nartha and narta because the r is followed by a consonant.
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Re: Trilled 'R's in Sindarin

PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:22 am

Thanks, Tuilinde, that's a good clear outline of how to use the two Rs. I shall get the pen out.
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About the alveolar r

PostAuthor: Lúthien » Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:15 am

Suilad,

Many people, including myself, find it difficult at first to properly pronounce the alveolar (trilled) r in Sindarin and Quenya.
This is, obviously, very evident in English because the English lingua-palatal r is very different from the alveolar version.

In Dutch (my native tongue) the alveolar r used to be the norm. I sometimes hear it very clearly in old tv fragments or in records.
Since around the 1970's this has changed and now almost everyone in the Netherlands pronounces the r in a sort of half-baked English way.
Apart from that I consider this not an improvement*, it is a pity because it requires more of an effort to learn to properly pronounce the elvish r.

Over the past time I have tried to figure out myself how to learn to do it the proper way. It requires regular exercising and maintaining, but it is not undoable. I found a very interesting page at http://www.wikihow.com/Roll-Your-%22R%22s where is explained in great detail how you could exercise this. It offers several different approaches, including one "developed by, and worked successfully on, a native speaker of English who had not successfully rolled a "R" in over 20 years of trying".

The article further states that:
Some people (especially those from countries where everyone can roll their "R"s with ease) may tell you that you could be genetically or physiologically unable to produce an alveolar trill. Unless you have one of the conditions listed above, this is absolutely not true. Rolling your "R"s is a little like touching your toes: both require flexibility and coordination in certain parts of the body which can be lost if not practiced regularly. The vast majority of people who can't touch their toes do not suffer from an innate disability: they simply need to regain the suppleness in their hips, hamstrings, etc. Similarly, those who can't roll their "R"s can gain the ability to do so by increasing the flexibility of their tongues.


They also give a link to a Spanish website which has a great Flash animation showing exactly how things work: http://www.uiowa.edu/~acadtech/phonetics/spanish/frameset.html - click on "vibrantes" and then on the [r] :

Image

I've created a PDF version of that wikihow page and put it on our server, so you can download it from there if you want to keep it offline or print it out http://parendili.org/doc/how_to_roll_your_r_wikihow.pdf

________________________________________
* There is a children's choir by the name of "Kinderen voor Kinderen" (children for children **) in the upper-class-twit-like area "Het Gooi" where people were particularly eager to anglicise their r's. They were, in fact, so eager that they did not pronounce it in the English or American way but overdid it so grotesquely that the result sounded like èwhwr.
Thus you could hear songs on the radio that sounded a bit as if the choir was being strangled or chocking which, combined with the maniacal cheeriness of the music, gave a very awkward overall effect.

________________________________________
** now I see this name written down, I realise that I never understood what they meant by that.
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Re: About the alveolar r

PostAuthor: Tuilinde » Sat Mar 12, 2011 9:44 am

Thank you very much for this, Luthien, it will be most helpful, especially when I'm preparing for a poetry reading for 2012 RotR!
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Re: About the alveolar r

PostAuthor: Huanarmo » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:08 am

Gen suilon, Lúthien.

Thanks, this is really helpful.

An Australian accent is no help in trying to get the rolled r right (though my brother can do it effortlessly). I will keep practising!

Savo 'lass,
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