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[R] in Germanic Dialects — Tradition or Innovation?

Bisiada, Mario

The quality of [R] in Germanic dialects is one of the most discussed phonological topics in Historical Linguistics, circling around one main question: Was it front or back? Scholars have proposed a back sound arisen through foreign influence as well as a native uvular trill. In this paper, I offer a comparative survey of the available literature, from the earliest superficial comments to modern in-depth dialect analysis, providing a synthesis of the arguments that have been proposed over time. Though no definite answer can ever be found, I provide what I regard to be a plausible answer as the outcome of the research that underlies this essay.

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