/r/ i några svenska dialekter
(/r/ in some Swedish dialects)
Damra Muminovic & Olle Engstrand
Contribution to Svenskans Beskrivning 25, Åbo 2001
Acoustic and auditory properties of rhotics (‘r-sounds’) were examined in nine Swedish dialects. The sounds were produced in intervocalic and word-initial position by several upper middle-aged male speakers. Approximant r variants outnumbered fricatives and taps in intervocalic position, whereas a fricative r realisation was more common in word-initial position. The incidence of trills was rather marginal. Acoustic analysis of the approximants suggested a fair amount of overlap between dialects in the F2/F3 space but some dialects were relatively well separated. Auditorily, four place categories (prealveolar, postalveolar, retroflex and back) could be discerned fairly reliably. These were separated to some extent in the F2/F3 space, but retroflex and back r could not be separated solely in terms of F2 and F3. This suggests an auditory similarity between articulatorily distinct r realisations. This similarity, in turn, may provide part of the explanation of the notorious articulatory variability of r.