R-droppers verses American Words

Juan   Friday, December 05, 2003, 06:58 GMT
>>I never threw extra /r/s <<

There are not really "extra /r/s" when they are already there, are they?
Jim   Friday, December 05, 2003, 07:01 GMT
Well, they wouldn't be extra /r/s if they were already there but because they are not they are.
Juan   Friday, December 05, 2003, 07:04 GMT
A case could be made for non-rhotic speakers throwing "extra /r/s" when the intrusive-r occurs. Rhotic speakers don't usually do this. I've heard that some Southeners (i.e Kennedy) have the intrusive-r but apart from that I dont know.
Juan   Friday, December 05, 2003, 07:14 GMT
Now you are confusing me Jim.

>>Well, they wouldn't be extra /r/s if they were already there but because they are not they are. <<

But to be more precise this is what's puzzling me. What do you mean by this?

>>but because they are not they are<<???????

Let's take as an example the word NEVER. Now, you more likely than not pronounce it like NEVA. You are ommitting the R, right? So if a Canadian or American pronounces it like NEV(ER) how is that an extra R?
Eastie   Friday, December 05, 2003, 07:35 GMT
"I've heard that some Southeners (i.e Kennedy) have the intrusive-r but apart from that I dont know."

FYI: The Kennedy's are from Brookline, Massachusetts, not the South.
Jim   Friday, December 05, 2003, 07:36 GMT
What I mean is that if the /r/s were already there, as you say, yes, they wouldn't be extra but they are not already there for me. The /r/s would be extra because they are not already there.

The /r/ in "never" would be extra for me because I pronounce it like "neva" (i.e. /nev../). I am not omitting anything. That's just my accent. Whether it would be an extra /r/ or not for a Canadian or an American is beside the point. The intrusive (or linking) /r/, you mention, on the other hand, is already there. This is my accent. This /r/ is not extra.

When a Canadian or an American puts an /r/ in words like "words", "heart", "port", etc. they are not extra (unless they're from Boston) because for them they are already there. If they were, on the other hand, to deliberatly throw in a non-rhotic style linking /r/ when they wouldn't naturally do so this would be extra.
mjd   Friday, December 05, 2003, 07:44 GMT
All of those examples that "R-droppers" gave for the non-rhotic accents just don't work. "Caw" for "car"? In my opinion, "caw" is the sound a crow makes. "Cah" would be more like it, but it'd probably mean something else for some other speakers. The chart is the only way to give an idea of the pronunciation one is trying to illustrate.
Juan   Friday, December 05, 2003, 08:05 GMT
FYI: The Kennedy's are from Brookline, Massachusetts, not the South.

Okay, I didn't know that I just assumed, since so many presidents come from the South, sorry. Politics has never been my strongest point.
Juan   Friday, December 05, 2003, 08:23 GMT
Okay Jim, I guess it all comes down from which perspective you look at it from. I'm not in anyway insinuating that your accent is in any shape or form incorrect. I apologise if that is how it came across. I actually like the non-rhotic form, it's different in a good way. Since my mother-tongue is fairly phonetic and we pronounce words how they are written(apart from a Spaniard's lisp), I tend to categorise non-rhotic forms as dropping or ommitting r's. English fascinates me, since it has a myriad of pronunciations for different words and yet y'all understand each other.
Simon   Friday, December 05, 2003, 09:17 GMT
Is Brookline pronounced as it is written or like "Brooklyn" NYC?
Roar   Friday, December 05, 2003, 11:17 GMT
I don't pronounce r's but each of those words in that list sound different to me, the vowels may be similar in America but not elsewhere.
Alice   Friday, December 05, 2003, 13:26 GMT
There is a long "I" sound in Brookline... like the line of a Brook, if that makes sense.
Jim   Monday, December 08, 2003, 00:28 GMT
For me there are three different vowels that we're talking about. I'd split the list up this way.





In list one we have two vowels: "ah" and "aw". More precisely, what we've got are these two long vowels /a:/ verses /o:/. In some American accents there is no disctintion made between these and they both come out close to how others would pronounce /a:/. Mjd is one American for whom this is not true. He makes this distinction.

In list two we still have two vowels but whilst one is the same, "ah", the other is different "o". In other words we have one long vowel and one vowel which is long in some accents and short in others: /a:/ verses /o/. As far as I know the /o/ in these words is the same as an /a:/ in American accents.


List one won't work for your accent but how about list two?


I came up with a sentence to illustrate my point: "Africa is charming." However, you've got my point anyway so I suppose that it needs no further explanation. Still I might as well write what I'd intended to because it's a simple way of putting things.

I'd pronounce it /@frik..riztSa:miN/ whilst my Canadian friend might pronounce it /@frik..iztSa:rmiN/. If we both said /@frik..riztSa:rmiN/ we'd both be throwing an extra /r/. Whereas if we both said /@frik..iztSa:miN/ both of us would be omitting one. If we pronounced them the way the other person does we'd both be throwing one in and leaving one out.
Only it would be a different one we'd either be throwing in or leaving out.
mjd   Monday, December 08, 2003, 01:02 GMT

I'd say list #2 is a much closer fit for those of us in the Northeastern U.S. List #1 definitely doesn't fit. "Fart" and "fought" have completely different vowel sounds in my accent. The "aw" sound in my accent sets it apart from list #1, a more Midwestern U.S. accent.

The "o" sound in the word "shop" is a more open sound in my accent than my "a" in sharp, but I suppose this is just my twang. It's difficult to describe all of this stuff short of making a recording, something which I might consider doing when I have the time.
Jim   Friday, December 12, 2003, 04:47 GMT
How about these then? For me all these words are homonyms. In list 3 there are words with the vowel /o:/ and in list 4 /a:/ is the vowel.