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A bit of information on /r/

 
How to make a good R sound:

1. Look in a mirror and smile.

2. Hold your tongue so it's high and tight in the back. This may feel as if your about to swallow or about to say a hard "g" sound.

3. Keep smiling and say "RRRR".  If it still comes out like an "uh", curl your lips and try again.

                                  




                 
Here's  a  way to make a good R sound by starting with a "ka":
http://www.speakingofspeech.com/uploads/R-initial-Pairedstimulation.pdf

Here are some little posters of reminders on how to make a nice clear R sound:
http://www.speakingofspeech.com/uploads/Rtrickposters.pdf
http://www.speakingofspeech.com/uploads/The_R_Sound.pdf
http://www.speakingofspeech.com/uploads/rproduction.pdf
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This is a sound that actually changes quite a bit depending on where it is in the word and what sounds area around it.  Each of these /r/ sounds is a little bit different:
  •  at the beginnings of words (red, rose) and in consonant clusters (green, street, try)
  • following short "a" sounds (car, target)
  • following short "e" sounds - which aren't always spelled with an "e" (there, very, hair, Mary)
  • following long "e" sounds ( hear, fear, tier)
  • in "er" at the ends of words (better, cover)
  • following long "i" sounds (fire, buyer)
  • following short "o" sounds ( tore, four)
  • following short "u" sounds- which aren't always spelled with a "u"  ( hurry, girl, bird)
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