----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Odegard
To: phoNet@egroups.com
Sent: Monday, September 11, 2000 11:52 AM
Subject: Re: [phoNet] Re: Tamilian America

[ɹ]   [ɺ]   [ɻ]
Mark, Rohit and all:
In standard IPA usage, the first of these symbols (upside-down <r>) stands for an alveolar or slightly postalveolar approximant ("semivowel") just like the typical RP pronunciation of /r/.
The second  (upside-down <r> with a long stem) is used for an alveolar LATERAL FLAP -- possibly the Tamil sound Rohit has in mind (I'll be able to check the details tomorrow).
The third (upside-down <r> with a right-curving hook) stands for a strongly postalveolar approximant, such as Irish or West Country British /r/, or one of the two most common US variants of the same.
Voiceless rhotics are quite common as positional variants of ordinarily voiced phonemes. In British English the /r/ of tree, pretty or crew is completely devoiced and fricative-like. Polish rolled /r/ in Piotr is voiceless too. But some languages have voiceless rhotic PHONEMES. A well-known example is Welsh, where voiceless /r/ is spelt <rh> as in the Welsh names for "Rome" and "Oxford" -- Rhufain and Rhydychen.
Piotr G.