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PostPosted: Sat 27 May 2023 7:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri 22 Jan 2021 4:24 pm
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Dia daoibh, a Dhaoine!

I have been relatively successful as of late in improving my slender r pronunciation. So far, I’ve been able to pretty successfully replicate a Connaught-style slender r (close to a “zh”-sound).

I can also do the Gweedore style “y”-phoneme slender r (though I’m not very knowledgeable yet about when to apply it, as there seems to be some unspoken rules about when to/when not to use it that I can’t quite pin down yet).

But what I’m most interested in these days is mastering the non-“y” style Ulster slender r. I’ve listened over and over to native speakers, but I can’t quite nail down (mechanically/anatomically) what’s happening…

According to “Fuaimeanna na Gaeilge” the Ulster slender r is an “Alveo-palatal tap — created by placing the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge and curling the body of the tongue towards the hard palate.” — After much practice and research, I finally understand/can physically do the mechanics of that description, but, it still sounds more like a Connaught r, instead of the soft, feathery (almost lispy?) Ulster r.

I found two videos demonstrating the Ulster slender r, but in one video, the speaker isn’t shown, and in the second video, the speakers teeth are blocking the view of her tongue placement, so I’m not sure what’s happening. (I’ll link the two videos below, if interested)

Sorry for the lengthy explanation, but can anyone provide some mechanical tips for doing the Ulster slender r sound? It would be so appreciated — thank you!

Links to the two videos mentioned above:
Link 1: https://youtu.be/jmF9xZzydhY
Link 2 (Slender r at the 3:14 mark) : https://youtu.be/0FmOP2myxd0


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PostPosted: Sat 27 May 2023 9:41 pm 
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Joined: Thu 27 May 2021 3:22 am
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The teeth will always be in the way when looking at the enunciation of slender consonants, because the mouth is closed. To open the mouth would produce a broad consonant. One way of forcing yourself to pronounce slender consonants properly is to put a finger between your teeth and bite down on the finger between your top and bottom teeth when you're pronouncing the slender consonant.


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PostPosted: Sun 28 May 2023 12:55 pm 
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Joined: Fri 22 Jan 2021 4:24 pm
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Thank you, djwebb2021! :D

I just tried the finger trick and it worked! I never knew that before, that slender consonants are spoken with the mouth more closed than broad, but it makes sense.

Do you suppose the Ulster slender r’ is really just the same as the other dialects, but maybe with a little less “zh”? :??:

Anyway, thank you so much again!


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PostPosted: Sun 28 May 2023 1:02 pm 
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Joined: Thu 27 May 2021 3:22 am
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Rosie_Oleary wrote:
Thank you, djwebb2021! :D

I just tried the finger trick and it worked! I never knew that before, that slender consonants are spoken with the mouth more closed than broad, but it makes sense.

Do you suppose the Ulster slender r’ is really just the same as the other dialects, but maybe with a little less “zh”? :??:

Anyway, thank you so much again!

Well, I'm hoping Labhrás and others will comment on the slender R.


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PostPosted: Mon 29 May 2023 12:03 am 
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Joined: Fri 22 Jan 2021 4:24 pm
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Yes, that would be great! I hope he does :good:


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