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The Czech sound spelled <r> hachek is officially designated by the IPA
Handbook (1999, Cambridge University Press) as an "alveolar trill fricative"
(see Dankovicova, 1999, IPA Handbook). It tends to be partially devoiced,
and produced with a great deal of frication (audible turbulence). Some Czech
speakers never acquire it, I believe.

It does indeed originate from palatalisation of /r/. Fricative realisations
of palatalised /r/'s are very common. Fricated palatalised /r/ occurs in
Irish, and in Scottish Gaelic, and something similar probably happened to
derive a voiced dental fricative from historic /r/ in Jersey French. English
(post)alveolar approximant /r/, tongue-tip up version, though not
palaitalised, is often fricated, particularly when accompanying a homorganic
plosive (stop at same place of articulation), e.g. in train, drain.
Voiceless trills are always produced with some frication.

Mark

Mark J. Jones
Department of Linguistics
University of Cambridge
http://kiri.ling.cam.ac.uk/mark
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