To roll or not to roll

Girish Sharma girish at
Wed Jul 23 15:57:55 UTC 1997

Having listened to tapes of several pundits reciting
Sanskrit as well as to lay speakers of Sanskrit, I
am left wondering about the proper pronunciation of 'r'.
Some seem to "roll" (as in Spanish) only the vowel
'.r', some roll both '.r' and the consonant 'r', and some roll neither.

In English I seem to pronounce 'r' with the velar (gutteral)
point of articulation, however Sanskrit grammars 
associate 'r' with the muurdhanya varga (retroflex class).

Can someone help me understand these issues.  Thank you.


Girish Sharma
San Diego, CA

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