rhotacism

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From New Latin rhotacismus (excessive or peculiar use of [r], especially the conversion of another sound (usually [s] or [z]) to [r]), from Ancient Greek * ῥωτακισμός, from ῥωτακίζω (rhotakizō, I incorrectly use rho), from ῥῶ (rhō, rho (the Greek equivalent of r))

Noun[edit]

rhotacism (countable and uncountable, plural rhotacisms)

  1. An exaggerated use of the sound of the letter R.
  2. (countable, linguistics): A linguistic phenomenon in which a consonant changes into an R, such as Latin flos becoming florem in the accusative case.
  3. Inability to pronounce the letter R; derhotacization.
    • 1959: Anthony Burgess, Beds in the East, Ch. 2. (The Long Day Wanes, p. 403)
      'But I'm hungwy.' A pathetic little-girl's rhotacismus.
    • 1970: Leland E. Hinsie and Robert Jean Campbell, Psychiatric Dictionary, page 711 (Oxford University Press)
      For example: r’s may become burrs or guttural grunts or w’s or l’s (rhotacism); […]
    • 1976: Deafness, Speech, and Hearing Publications, Inc., of Gallaudet College & the American Speech and Hearing Association, DSH Abstracts, volumes 16–17 (1976–1977), page 289 (Deafness Speech and Hearing Publications)
      From the analysis of Kana writings, hypothesizes that the inability to establish a stable… […] The correction of rhotacism by means of an electric vibrator.
    • 2005: Bernard Fogel, PhD, CCC-SLP, Exercising the Rhotacism in Absence of Pathology (ADVANCE)
      It is universally accepted that the rhotacism, a defective utterance of the /r/ sounds, is usually the last and most difficult American English consonant to correct functionally.
      I use two methods to help correct the rhotacism.

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