Trill consonant
In phonetics
Phonetics is a branch of linguistics that comprises the study of the sounds of human speech, or—in the case of sign languages—the equivalent aspects of sign. It is concerned with the physical properties of speech sounds or signs : their physiological production, acoustic properties, auditory...

, a trill is a consonant
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...

al sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation
Place of articulation
In articulatory phonetics, the place of articulation of a consonant is the point of contact where an obstruction occurs in the vocal tract between an articulatory gesture, an active articulator , and a passive location...

. Standard Spanish
Standard Spanish
Standard Spanish or neutral Spanish is a linguistic variety, or lect, that is considered a correct educated standard for the Spanish language. Standard Spanish is not merely Spanish adjusted to fit in prescriptive molds dictated by a linguistic overseeing authority, but also a form of language that...

 <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill
Alveolar trill
The alveolar trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents dental, alveolar, and postalveolar trills is , and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r. It is commonly called the rolled R, rolling R, or trilled R...

, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular
Uvular trill
The uvular trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is , a small capital R...


Trills are very different from flaps
Flap consonant
In phonetics, a flap or tap is a type of consonantal sound, which is produced with a single contraction of the muscles so that one articulator is thrown against another.-Contrast with stops and trills:...

. Whereas with a flap (or tap), a specific gesture is used to strike the active articulator against the passive one, in the case of a trill the articulator is held in place, where the airstream causes it to vibrate. Usually a trill vibrates for 2-3 periods, but may be up to 5, or even more if geminate. However, trills may also be produced with only a single period. While this might seem like a flap, the articulation is different; trills will vary in the number of periods, but flaps do not.

Trill consonants included in the International Phonetic Alphabet
International Phonetic Alphabet
The International Phonetic Alphabet "The acronym 'IPA' strictly refers [...] to the 'International Phonetic Association'. But it is now such a common practice to use the acronym also to refer to the alphabet itself that resistance seems pedantic...

: - coronal trill
Alveolar trill
The alveolar trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents dental, alveolar, and postalveolar trills is , and the equivalent X-SAMPA symbol is r. It is commonly called the rolled R, rolling R, or trilled R...

 - bilabial trill
Bilabial trill
-External links:*...

 - uvular trill
Uvular trill
The uvular trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. The symbol in the International Phonetic Alphabet that represents this sound is , a small capital R...

The bilabial trill is uncommon. The coronal trill is most frequently alveolar
Alveolar consonant
Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli of the superior teeth...

 [r͇], but dental and postalveolar
Postalveolar consonant
Postalveolar consonants are consonants articulated with the tongue near or touching the back of the alveolar ridge, further back in the mouth than the alveolar consonants, which are at the ridge itself, but not as far back as the hard palate...

 articulations [r̪] and [r̠] also occur. An alleged retroflex trill
Retroflex trill
The retroflex trill is a sound that has been reported from the Dravidian language Toda, and confirmed with laboratory measurements. Peter Ladefoged transcribes it with the IPA symbol normally associated with the retroflex flap, '...

 found in Toda
Toda language
Toda is a Dravidian language well known for its many fricatives and trills. It is spoken by the Toda people, a population of about one thousand who live in the Nilgiri Hills of southern India.-Vowels:...

 has been transcribed [ɽ] (that is, the same as the retroflex flap), but might be less ambiguously written [ɽ͡r], as only the onset is retroflex, with the actual trill being alveolar. One other trill has been reported as a consonant, an epiglottal trill
Epiglottal trill
In the epiglottal trill, the larynx is raised and the pharynx constricted, so that the epiglottis vibrates instead of the vocal cords. In the related aryepiglottal trill, the arytenoid cartilages vibrate....

. Epiglottal consonant
Epiglottal consonant
An epiglottal consonant is a consonant that is articulated with the aryepiglottic folds against the epiglottis. They are occasionally called aryepiglottal consonants.-Epiglottal consonants in the IPA:...

s are often allophonically
In phonology, an allophone is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds used to pronounce a single phoneme. For example, and are allophones for the phoneme in the English language...

 trilled, and in some languages the trill is the primary realization of the consonant. There is no official symbol for this in the IPA, but occasionally [я] has been used in the literature. There are also so-called strident vowel
Strident vowel
Strident vowels are strongly pharyngealized vowels accompanied by epiglottal trill, where the larynx is raised and the pharynx constricted, so that either the epiglottis or the arytenoid cartilages vibrate instead of the vocal cords.Strident vowels are fairly common in Khoisan languages, where...

s which are accompanied by epiglottal trill.

The cells in the IPA chart for the velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

 and pharyngeal
Pharyngeal consonant
A pharyngeal consonant is a type of consonant which is articulated with the root of the tongue against the pharynx.-Pharyngeal consonants in the IPA:Pharyngeal consonants in the International Phonetic Alphabet :...

 places of articulation are shaded. A velar trill is impossible because the middle of the tongue and walls of the throat are insufficiently flexible to vibrate in such a manner. A palatal trill is impractically difficult, if not actually impossible. The glottis quite readily vibrates, but this occurs as the phonation
Phonation has slightly different meanings depending on the subfield of phonetics. Among some phoneticians, phonation is the process by which the vocal folds produce certain sounds through quasi-periodic vibration. This is the definition used among those who study laryngeal anatomy and physiology...

 of vowels and consonants, not as a consonant of its own.

The Czech language
Czech language
Czech is a West Slavic language with about 12 million native speakers; it is the majority language in the Czech Republic and spoken by Czechs worldwide. The language was known as Bohemian in English until the late 19th century...

 has two contrastive alveolar trills, one a fricative trill (written ř in the orthography). In the fricative trill the tongue is raised, so that there is audible frication
Fricative consonant
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

 during the trill, sounding rather like a simultaneous [r] and [ʐ]. A symbol for this sound, ⟨ɼ⟩, has been dropped from the IPA, and it is now generally transcribed as a raised r, ⟨r̝⟩.

Liangshan (Cool Mountain) Yi
Yi language
Nuosu , also known as Northern Yi, Liangshan Yi, and Sichuan Yi, is the prestige language of the Yi people; it has been chosen by the Chinese government as the standard Yi language and, as such, is the only one taught in school, both in its oral and written form...

 has two "buzzed" or fricative vowels /i̝/, /u̝/, written , which may also be trilled, [ʙ̝], [r̝].

The Chapakuran
Chapacura-Wanham languages
The Chapacuran languages are a nearly extinct Native American language family of South America. There are three living Chapacuran languages, which are spoken in the southeastern Amazon Basin of Brazil and Bolivia. The languages in the family are classified into the Madeira and Guapore groups...

 language Wari’
Wari’ language
The Wari’ language is the sole remaining vibrant language of the Chapacuran language family of the Brazilian–Bolivian border region of the Amazon...

 and the Muran
Muran languages
Muran is a small language family of Amazonas, Brazil.-Family division:Muran consists of 4 languages:# Mura †# Pirahã # Bohurá †# Yahahí †...

 language Pirahã
Pirahã language
Pirahã is a language spoken by the Pirahã. The Pirahã are an indigenous people of Amazonas, Brazil, living along the Maici River, a tributary of the Amazon....

 have a very unusual trilled phoneme, a voiceless bilabially trilled affricate with dental onset, [t̪͡ʙ̥].

Extralinguistic trills

A linguolabial
Linguolabial consonant
Linguolabials or apicolabials are consonants articulated by placing the tongue tip or blade against the upper lip, which is drawn downward to meet the tongue. They represent one extreme of a coronal articulatory continuum which extends from linguolabial to subapical palatal places of articulation...

 trill [r̼] is not known to be used phonemically, but occurs when blowing a raspberry
Blowing a raspberry
Blowing a raspberry or strawberry or making a Bronx cheer is to make a noise signifying derision, real or feigned. It is made by placing the tongue between the lips and blowing, making a sound redolent of flatulence. In the terminology of phonetics, this sound can be described as an unvoiced...


Snoring is the vibration of respiratory structures and the resulting sound, due to obstructed air movement during breathing while sleeping. In some cases the sound may be soft, but in other cases, it can be loud and unpleasant...

 typically consists of vibration of the uvula and the soft palate
Soft palate
The soft palate is the soft tissue constituting the back of the roof of the mouth. The soft palate is distinguished from the hard palate at the front of the mouth in that it does not contain bone....

 (velum). While the former part is simply a uvular trill, there is no standard linguistic term for the latter. It does not constitute a velar trill, because the velum is here the active articulator
An articulator is a mechanical device used in dentistry to which casts of the maxillary and mandibular teeth are fixed, reproducing recorded positions of the mandible in relation to the maxilla...

, not the passive; the tongue is not involved at all. (The Extensions to the IPA
Extensions to the IPA
The Extensions to the IPA are extensions of the International Phonetic Alphabet and were designed for disordered speech. However, some of the symbols are occasionally used for transcribing normal speech as well, particularly in certain languages.-Brackets:The Extended IPA for speech pathology has...

 identify a fricative pronounced with this same configuration as velopharyngeal.)

Lateral consonant
A lateral is an el-like consonant, in which airstream proceeds along the sides of the tongue, but is blocked by the tongue from going through the middle of the mouth....

 trills are also possible and may be used to imitate bird calls.
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