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John Cowan wrote:

> I write [r\] for my rhotic AmEng "r" not because it's shorter, but because
> I do not pronounce this letter retroflex.  Perhaps I should use [@_^`],
> (non-syllabic rhotacized schwa) instead, but it's a lot less readable.

As I've just mentioned in another post, rhoticity is something I still
have unresolved questions about.

Let's first of all take the phone 'r' as in 'rabbit', which I'll call
/r/ for now.

Extensive introspection makes me quite certain that the fundamental
difference between /r/ and x-sampa [}_^] ( or [H] if you prefer ) is
some quality of articulation that is neither height nor front-backness.

Furthermore, while I have not been able to pin down the precise
articulatory characteristic of /r/, I know that it involves a greater
pressure of my tongue upon my upper molars.

And when there's an articulatory quality I don't understand *and* an
IPA symbol I don't understand (rhoticity), it's tempting to leap to
the conclusion that they must belong hand in hand.

But everyone keeps telling me that rhotacisation is an exotic American
pecularity.

So I don't understand it.

Adrian.