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Consonant clusters with [r]

Combinations of voiceless consonants with [r]

[tr, pr, kr, str, skr, 0r, fr, 4r, sr]

In the clusters of voiceless consonants with the sonorant [r] complete of partial devoicing of the sonorant takes place – progressive assimilation affecting the work of the vocal cords. The sound [r] is completely or almost completely devoiced when it is preceded by a voiceless plosive consonant [p, t, k] in a stressed syllable: train, pride, cry.

In an unstressed position, at a word boundary or when [p, t, k] are preceded by [s] or some other fricative consonant the devoicing of [r] is partial: waitress, temperature, spread, quite right. A similar (of partial devoicing) both in stressed and unstressed syllables is produced when [r] is immediately preceded by a fricative consonant: friend, Geoffrey, shrewd, three, fruit, that’s right.

Combinations of alveolar and interdental consonants with [r]

[tr, dr, 0r, 8r]

In some of these clusters assimilation affecting the place and the manner of articulation can be observed. Thus under the influence of the post-alveolar [r] the alveolar consonants [t, d] in the clusters [tr, dr] become post-alveolar.

The clusters [tr, dr] are actually characterized by double (reciprocal) assimilation because the the sonorant [r] is modified as well: under the influence of the noise consonants [t, d] it becomes fricative, and after [t], as was mentioned above, it is also devoiced.

In the clusters [0r, 8r] the post-alveolar frictionless sound [r] is often replaced by an alveolar tap, or a flapped variety of [r]: a single brief tap is made by the tip of the tongue on the teethridge. In the cluster [0r], besides, there is partial devoicing of the sonorant [r].

Sound Drills.

1. Practice the following words and phrases observing assimilation in the consonant clusters with [r]


1) Complete devoicing of [r]

rose – prose

ray – pray

rest – pressed

robe – probe

rice – price

rise – prize

reason – prison

resident – president

rip – trip

rust – trust

rot – trot

race – trace

rye – try

rain – train

rifle – trifle

ravelling – travelling

read – creed

rack – crack

rush – crush

rude – crude

rain – crane

row – craw

rhyme – crime

rickety – cricket

! The clusters [br], [gr] are characterized by:

a) close coarticulation of the adjacent consonants;

b) no modifications of the sonant [r].

pretty, prove, Prague, price, prose, proud, present, practise, promise, private, problem, property, probable, president, approach, impression;

treat, trip, trend, tram, truck, trouble, true, trade, try, traffic, trousers, betray, control, attractive, electricity;

creed, crisp, crab, crept, crack, craft, crust, crawl, cross, crew, crooked, cruel, cricket, critical, crocodile, decree

2) Partial devoicing of [r]

refer – prefer

repair – prepare

reserve – preserve

ring – spring

red – spread

ray – spray

rain – sprain

rightful – sprightful

ring – string

rap – strap

raw – straw

range – strange

robbery – strawberry

ream – scream

wrap – scrap

ramble – scramble

rub – scrub

routineer – scrutineer

breach – preach

brick – prick

brim – prim

breast – pressed

broad – prod

braise – praise

bride – pride

greed – creed

grim – cream

grab – crab

gram – cram

grew – crew

grain – crane

graze – craze

rock – frock

route – fruit

write – fright

rame – frame

rose – froze

rigid – frigid

rill – shrill

red – shred

rank – shrank

rub – shrub

rug – shrug

rudeness – shrewdness

rash – thrash

red – thread

rice – thrice

raw – throw

wrote – throat

rilling – thrilling

apron, upright, prevent, predict, prepare, prefer, pretend, pronounce, profession;

petrol, country, central, waitress, contrast, entrance, industry, translate, introduce, tremendous;

secret, concrete, bankrupt, crisscross, secretary, acrobat, cloakroom, cockroach;

spring, spread, sprawl, spray, sprain, spright;

street, string, strict, strap, stress, strength, strong, straw, struggle, strange, strike, stroke, strawberry, straightforward;

scream, screen, script, scratch, scrap, scramble, scrub, screw, scrutinize;

free, friend, frank, frost, fruit, France, frozen, afraid, fried, Friday, fricative, different;

shrill, shrimp, shrank, shred, shrug, shrub, shrewd, mushroom;

three, thrill, thread, through, throw, throat, trice;

a deep river, to jump rope, a sharp razor, ripe raspberries, just round, an interest rate, an urgent request, a light rain, quite reasonable, a thick rope, bank robbery, public relations, sarcastic remarks, a brief review, cough remedy, foolish rhymes, harsh reality, Finnish representatives, the fourth rule, press release, tax relief, to express regret, class reading, horse races

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