MAYOR ands MARE homophonous?
"Mayor" is a word which undergoes smoothing in RP (and in British English in general, depending on the speaker) to the best of my knowledge. My question is: Does "mayor" wind up sounding like "mare"? (a female horse). I think also, and correct me if I'm wrong here, that some American speakers, whether using a rhotic or non-rhotic pronunciation for "mayor" and "mare", still pronounce them both the same because they "smooth" mayor into one syllable (even though GAE does not smooth words like "fire"). You may, however, hear some smoothing of "fire" in a SE accent or in Black English, although in non-rhotic New Yorkese it would sound like "fiyah", clearly disyllabic with no smoothing. I am also aware that for many American speakers, "mayor" is disyllabic and does NOT sound like mayor.
So basically, my two questions here are as follows:
1) Are "mayor" and "mare" homophonous in RP or in other UK accents?
2) Are "mayor" and "mare" sometimes homophonous in GAE or in other US or CAN accents?
At least here in southeastern Wisconsin, "mayor" and "mare" are not homophones, them being:
"mayor" : ["me:@`] or ["me:I@`]
"mare" : ["me:r\`]
As for RP or other non-North American English dialects, I really cannot say about such here myself.
As far as I know, in GAE "mayor" always has two syllables and is never confused with "mare". Since the A in "mayor" is not affected by the R in the second syllable, it ends up having a different vowel sound than "mare".
For me (central Massachusetts), "mayor" and "mare" are not homophonous:
"mayor" - ["meI@`]
"mare" - [mE@`]
Although I'm aware that in at least some varieties of RP, they are homophonous.
Homophones in Australia: [me:].
Actually, they are homophonous for me too. However, being that I do not live in Englnad, I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't overapplying the smoothing rule to the word "mayor". Despite my RP accent, there are occasional British prestige innovations that arise which I may not be privy to. Smoothing is not something that I've always been aware of. However, smoothing often separates "true" RP speakers from "impostors". For example, Gandolph makes use of smoothing in pronouncing the word "shire" but Frodo doesn't. He uses a near-RP pronunciation which is non-rhotic but unsmoothed. Of course, I know he's American but since he's supposed to be using an RP accent for the purposes of the movie, this is something the directors should have picked up on and corrected. I also hate those ads for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" in which "fire" is unsmoothed even though it's plainly obvious that the speaker is trying to pull off an RP accent. I have nothing against people adopting RP for whatever reason or purpose but if you're going to do something, for God's sake do your homework first and get it right!
Learn to play the piano first before attempting a concerto.
<<I also hate those ads for "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" in which "fire" is unsmoothed even though it's plainly obvious that the speaker is trying to pull off an RP accent. I have nothing against people adopting RP for whatever reason or purpose but if you're going to do something, for God's sake do your homework first and get it right!>>
From what I've read, I've gotten the impression that smoothing is optional, but certainly not mandatory, for RP. From my perspective as an American, if one of my compatriots were, for example, trying to do an RP accent for an add, there would be some things that I would find jarring (like demonstrating the tory-torrent merger or using a very open vowel for the /O/ phoneme), but a lack of smoothing wouldn't be among them.
^ correction: "add" ---> "ad" above
You didn't ask, Jason, but the words are homophones in other non-NA English-speaking countries as well as the UK. If you pronounced mayor with two syllables you'd be a laughing-stock.
<<Re: MAYOR ands MARE homophonous?
Only in the mouths of some uneducated people otherwise 'mayor' is a two syllable word (may-er) and mare' a one syllable word (mair).>>
Big call, little man for calling Jim, Jason and speakers of RP uneducated.
Don't start with your rash and childish conclusions as usual. Before you attempt to post tripe, at least read the posts of others that contradict you or verify your supposition through the web.
If you had any intention of being objective, you would be aware at this stage that such words are typically homophonous among speakers from Commonwealth countries, and especially in RP.
However, when the word mayor is followed by a name, it's pronounced /mE@`/. Does anyone else have this?
They are homophonous in the Philadelphia area for those with a strong accent.
I speak RP and they are definitely pronounced the same for me.
Bennus, why does the fact that I speak RP render me uneducated?