Saturday November 13, 2004

Armenian <ռ> and <ր>

In response to a question over on Linguaphiles, I posted the following comment:

This site has detailed descriptions of the pronunciation of the Armenian alphabet, including IPA transcriptions. <ռ> is the alveolar trill [r], and <ր> is the alveolar approximant [ɹ] (turned r).

Also, it happens that I've got all the English-language Armenian references checked out of our university's library right now. Here's what they say:

Gulian, Kevork H. Elementary Modern Armenian Grammar
<ռ>: r Scotch
<ր>: r

Bardakjian, Kevork B. A Textbook of Modern Western Armenian
<ռ>: r (rolled) as in royal
<ր>: r as in rest

Andonian, Hagop. Beginner's Armenian
<ռ>: rr, ex: catarrh
<ր>: r, ex: rare

They're all writing for an English-speaking audience, so these explanations, although vague enough to risk misinterpretation (catarrh?), agree with the IPA transcriptions above. Gulian's "r Scotch" is presumably the rolled r used by speakers in Scotland, and Andonian's single vs. double r is probably intended to recall the distinction in Spanish orthography between <r> and <rr>.

Meta:  In situations like this, I'm never sure what the proper blog etiquette is.  On the one hand, if I reply at length to a post on another blog, I'd like to have what I've written appear here on my blog.  On the other hand, it seems a bit rude just posting a link to my blog in the original thread (as I've done in the past)—that feels almost like comment spam.  Posting the comment there and duplicating it here is the compromise solution I've arrived at.  Anyone have a better suggestion?

[Now playing: "Masquerade" by Berlin]

I am The Tensor, and I approve this post.
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Armenian information about an Armenian organization working for Armenia is available here.

Posted by: armenian at Jan 2, 2005 4:15:51 AM

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