One of the things that got us excited about linguistics back in the days wasn’t any kind of scientific holy grail, such as why only humans have language or whether we are born with an innate language faculty. It was something very simple, namely: why are there so many different types of “R”?
As a speaker of an Eastern-Dutch dialect, I (Jeroen) noticed I could never roll my R’s with the tip of my tongue like in Spanish or Italian. Rather, I roll my R’s with my uvula (the little “ball” in the back of your throat, see the picture below). Why, I wondered, do I roll my R’s in my throat, whereas most people in Amsterdam roll their R’s … ↪