Swedish: d as r

Discussion in 'Nordic Languages' started by Miralasa, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. Miralasa Senior Member

    My dictionary transcribes 'dedikation' as [dedɪka'ɧu:n]. But there is definitely no second 'd' sound, but 'r' instead. What are the rules for that?
  2. MattiasNYC Senior Member

    New York
    I'm not sure I agree with that. I hear a second "d" sound and no "r" if pronounced properly. Where did you hear this word pronounced?
  3. Miralasa Senior Member

    It's from 2 audiobooks of mine.
  4. MattiasNYC Senior Member

    New York
    Well, I don't hear an "r", I hear the "d".

    I'm guessing the audiobook readers didn't pronounce it "accurately".
  5. DerFrosch

    DerFrosch Senior Member

    Do you know for a fact that it really is the word dedikation that is pronounced, and not some similar one, like derivation? And are the audiobook readers native speakers of Swedish?

    I have to say that I find it diffucult to find any other explanation of the fact that you hear a "r" sound. What I can say is that the first "d" sounds slightly different compared to the second; it's "harder" and clearer. I'm really no phonetics expert, but I believe this is 1) because it's at the beginning of the word, and 2) because the second "d" is followed by an "i", and not an "e". These differences are more obvious if the speaker is talkning at a high speed.

    Having said that, the second "d" still doesn't sound anything at all like "r" to me. I agree with you there, Mattias.
  6. Ogago Member

    In some dialects 'd' can actually be pronounced as 'r'. But perhaps in a few fixed phrases.
    Example: "Humåru" which means "Hur mår du?" ("How are you?)
    Or the common ending of an sentence to confirm what just was said: "..., dårå.", that I really cannot descipher myself, as I am not a part of that dialect.
  7. MattiasNYC Senior Member

    New York

    I think your first example is really a matter of getting rid of a consonant rather than pronouncing it differently. "Hur mår du?" gets rid of both the first "r" and last "d"; "Humåru". "dårå." I agree with.

    Either way, I would say my experience is hearing a "d" more often than an "r", albeit sometimes an unclear "d".
  8. Lugubert Senior Member

    There might be a confusion about the realization/interpretation of the continuum dental to alveolar to retroflex 'd'. A famous example in Sweden is the kid TV show presenter 'Auntie Maude' tant Maud. The programs were cast in Western Sweden, where dentals often are slightly more alveolar than standard Swedish, tending towards English. Kids form many other parts of Sweden for example interpreted the -d as a full retroflex sound, and thought that her name was tant Mård.

    A trick to help Swedish kids and foreigners who struggle with the Swedish 'r' (when not in -rd-) is to have the subject speak the made-up syllable "tedé" faster and faster, and they almost invariably end up with a totally acceptable Swedish tre ('3').

    Forgive me for possibly going off-topic, but there's a similar phenomenon when adapting English words into e.g. Hindi. The English t, d, and n sounds (alveolar [t̠] etc.) fall somewhere between the Hindi fully dental correspondents [t, d, n] and the quite retroflex ones - [ʈ] etc. For some reason, Indian speakers feel that e.g. an English 't' is closer to their retroflex than to their dental t, and the substitution creates much of the perceived "Indian" accent in movies etc. Easier for most Swedes when trying Hindi than for native English speakers: Most of us (and Norwegians) keep a sufficient distance between the dentals and the retroflexes.

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