Rhotic sounds: articulation, acoustics, function
The realization of the Hungarian phoneme /r/ is commonly identified by the term 'voiced trill'. Acoustic-phonetic investigations, however, have revealed that this phoneme can also be realized in Hungarian as a voiceless trill, a tap, a vocalic consonant, an approximant, or as a voiced or a voiceless fricative. Furthermore, there is a pair of variants not discussed previously: (r) with a schwa onglide or offglide. In Cr clusters, the occurrence of schwa has been found to be more frequent in homorganic than in heterorganic clusters, while in the case of rC clusters, the occurrence of schwa has been found to be more frequent in heterorganic than in homorganic sequences. The realization onglide was found before vowels (in onset position), and offglide before consonants or word finally (in coda position). These facts are explained on the basis of articulatory/aerodynamic principles. The durational data of the /r/-variants show significant interrelations with the phonological positions in which they occur.
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