Voiced uvular fricative (Guttural 'r') in Portugal


American English

I'm noticing that speakers of Portuguese from Portugal, particularly in Lisbon, are pronouncing r's in the initial position of a word and rr's in the voiced uvular fricative, or the guttural 'r.'

Is the 'trill' that used to dominate (I might be wrong here) in the earlier part of the 20th century starting to become a dying pronunciation? Also, which part of Portugal is the 'trill' still used? I'd love the feedback from speakers from Portugal.

Thanks in advance
  • omniglossia

    New Member
    Portuguese - Portugal

    Yes, it is true that the guttural "r", either pronounced as uvular fricative or uvular trill is becoming dominant in most of Portugal's urban areas. The traditional alveolar/dental trill is still very common in most of inner Portugal, Alentejo, Algarve rural areas, Beiras, northern Portugal (mostly rural and inner areas). The guttural "r" is already dominant in Lisbon metropolitan area, Porto metropolitan area, Aveiro, Coimbra, Faro, and in most of Portugal coast. In Azores and Madeira the guttural "r" is also very common. With the massification of media the guttural "r" is slowly spreading to all regions of Portugal, and there is a tendency for most young speakers to pronounce <rr> as guttural instead of an alveolar trill.
    I hope to have answered your question!
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