The Trilled "R"

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The Trilled "R"

Post by Cathexis » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:16 pm

Greetings All,

This is more of a curiosity question than anything else.
Did the Ancient Romans trill their "R's" ?

The reason I ask is that I was watching the "Latin Tutorial" on You-Tube the other
day and his idea of, "Arma virumque cano, Troiae qui primus ab oris" had every R
trilled especially, "arma virumque." I was reaching for the remote to replay.

Now my youngest daughter took Latin from public school elementary up to sophomore
college at UMass. and she said she wasn't sure as mostly, overwhelmingly it was always
reading over oral. There was no reading Virgil out loud in class for instance. She had a
dim memory of, "you could if you wanted but no special rule for it."

Then I turned to my Bennett's Grammar 2nd Ed. printed May, 1911 ('cause I love
learning classical things from old books - somehow just better that way!) and HE said
IIRC, "a lightly trilled R." So just curious what you guys have to say about it.


Last edited by Cathexis on Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:31 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Romani ite Domum

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Re: The Trilled "R"

Post by Ronolio » Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:24 pm

I was taught that it was a lightly trilled R, with the front part of the tongue -similar to Spanish, is what I was told. However, I could never quite do that; rather, I rolled the R in the back of my throat. I blame German, which was the first language outside of English that I learned -and at a much younger age than I started Latin, so more ingrained- for that.

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Re: The Trilled "R"

Post by Timothée » Sat Jul 30, 2016 7:37 am

Latin most likely had an Italian-type r (Allen p. 32—33). Actually many (most?) English dialects don't have r at all, that is from phonetical point of view. (Scottish English is of course the most notable exception.)

So yes, the Romans did 'roll' or 'trill' their r's, as far as we can tell.

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Re: The Trilled "R"

Post by ailuros » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:21 pm

call the roller of all the r's!

sorry. so, so terrible, but couldn't resist!

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