RESH

ר

VOICED ADVANCED UVULAR TRILL [ʀ̟]

Tiberian Hebrew resh is not pronounced like any English sound. It does sound, however, like one version of the French "r". To pronounce Tiberian Hebrew resh (in most instances), the tongue should be in the same position as when you pronounce qof, but make a "gurgling" sound low in the back of the throat and vibrate the vocal chords. It is important to distinguish this sound from gimal rafe, which is pronounced in the same place but without the "gurgling" (i.e., with a smoother more consistent flow of air).

 

This is known as the "light" variant of resh in the Tiberian tradition. Note that in the environment of the consonants דזצתטסלן, Tiberian resh has an emphatic "heavy" variant.

Geminated resh appears to have been vocalized with this primary "light" realization of resh.

[ʀ̟]

ר

Hidayat al-Qari

So, the total number of places of articulation are six, five primary and one secondary. The middle of the tongue is the place of articulation of five letters, namely גיכרק.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.3.6)
Hidayat al-Qari

The light resh in their tradition is (in words) such as רְתֹ֧ם הַמֶּרְכָּבָ֛ה ‘Harness the chariot!’ (Micah 1.13), רְסִ֥יסֵי לָֽיְלָה ‘drops of the night’ (Cant. 5.2), בְּמִרְכֶּ֤בֶת הַמִּשְׁנֶה֙ ‘in his second chariot’ (Gen. 41.43). Such cases and similar ones are their normal pronunciation of the letter, for they consider it to be the light resh.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.9.5)
Hidayat al-Qari

The major resh in their tradition are cases such as הַרְּאִיתֶם֙ ‘Have you seen?’ (2 Kings 6.32), הַרְּעִמָ֑הּ ‘to irritate her’ (1 Sam. 1.6), and the like.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.9.6)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

הַרְּעִמָ֑הּ

[haʀ̟ʀ̟iʕiːˈmɔːɔh]

הַרְּאִיתֶם֙

[haʀ̟ʀ̟iʔiːˈθεːɛm]

בְּמִרְכֶּ֤בֶת

[bamiʀ̟kʰɛːvɛθ]

רְתֹ֧ם

[ʀ̟aˈθoːom]

PHARYNGEALIZED APICO-ALVEOLAR TRILL []

In the environment of the consonants דזצתטסלן, the Tiberian resh is pronounced as an apico-alveolar emphatic trill. Specifically, this variant of resh occurs in three instances:

 

(i) when it is touching a preceding consonant from among this group (דזצתטסלן)

(ii) when resh is in the same syllable or foot as a preceding consonant from this group (דזצתטסלן)

(iii) when resh is touching or in the same syllable/foot as a following ל or ן

To pronounce this emphatic variant of resh, the tip of the tongue is roughly in the same spot as when you pronounce the "d" in English, but curve the tongue to make a cavity in the mouth for the emphatic sound and pronounce the resh with a trill of the tongue.

[rˁ]

ר

Hidayat al-Qari

So, the total number of places of articulation are six, five primary and one secondary. The middle of the tongue is the place of articulation of five letters, namely גיכרק.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.3.6)
Hidayat al-Qari

The grade between two grades (of the resh) where dalet precedes it are cases such as דַּרְכֵ֙י צִיּ֜וֹן ‘the roads to Zion’ (Lam. 1.4), דַּרְכּ֖וֹ ‘his way’ (Gen. 24.21), לְדִרְא֥וֹן ‘to contempt’ (Dan. 12.2). Cases with zayin are זַרְזִ֥יף ‘dripping’ (Psa. 72.6), מִזַּרְע֛וֹ לַמֹּ֖לֶךְ ‘any of his offspring to Molech’ (Lev. 20.2), יִזְרֹ֑ק ‘He scatters’ (Isa. 28.25). Cases with ṣade are מַצְרֵ֣ף ‘the crucible’ (Prov. 17.3), כִּצְרֹ֣ף ‘as testing’ (Zech. 13.9), עַד־צָ֣רְפַ֔ת ‘as far as Zarephath’ (Obd. 1.20). Cases of tav are תַּרְקִ֣יעַ ‘you spread out’ (Job 37.18), וְתַרְאֲלָֽה ‘and Taralah’ (Josh. 18.27), תַרְבִּ֣יעַ ‘you will (not) cause to breed’ (Lev. 19.19). Cases of ṭet are  כָּל־טַרְפֵּ֤י צִמְחָהּ֙ ‘all the leaves of its sprouting’ (Ezek. 17.9), יִכְס֣וֹף לִטְר֑וֹף ‘He is eager to tear’ (Psa. 17.12), מִטְר֥וֹת עֻזּֽוֹ ‘the rains of his strength’ (Job 37.6). A case with samekh is סַֽרְעַפֹּתָ֜יו ‘its boughs’ (Ezek. 31.5). Cases with: lamed are לִרְחֹ֣ץ ‘to wash’ (Gen. 24.32), לִרְע֛וֹת ‘to graze’ (1 Sam. 17.15), לִֽרְצֹנְכֶ֖ם ‘for your favour’ (Lev. 19.5), לִרְצֹנ֖וֹ ‘for his favour’ (Lev. 1.3). Cases with nun are סַרְנֵ֣י ‘rulers of’ (Josh. 13.3), נִרְדִּ֖י ‘my nard’ (Cant. 1.12). They call these cases and similar ones a grade (of resh) between two grades, namely (the grades of) dagesh and rafe. Whoever investigates this carefully (will see that) it is as they say, since the difference is clear between the resh of רְתֹ֧ם  and רְסִ֥יסֵי  and (the resh) that is adjacent to the eight letters (preceding it) when they have shewa under them or when shewa is under it. Its heaviness is clear compared to the lightness of the resh of רְתֹ֧ם and the like.

Translation from Khan (TPTBH II.L.1.9.7)

EXAMPLE WORDS:

נִרְדִּ֖י

[niˈdiː]

תַּרְקִ֣יעַ

[tʰaˈq̟iːjaʕ]

יִזְרֹ֑ק

[jizˈoːoq̟]

דַּרְכּ֖וֹ

[dɑkʰoː]

SOURCES AND FURTHER READING

Khan, Geoffrey. 2020. The Tiberian Pronunciation Tradition of Biblical Hebrew. Cambridge: Cambridge and Open Book Publishers. §I.1.20.

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