Non-rhotic and fern-fur-fir umerged

Josh Lalonde   Fri Feb 23, 2007 8:45 pm GMT
Does such an accent exist? Perhaps an ambitious Scot trying to fit in in England?
Dan Saff   Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:06 pm GMT
Non-rhoric? That's easy, mate, but "fern-fur-fir" - that's all the same to me.
Lazar   Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:24 pm GMT
I don't think any accent like that exists natively, although something like it could possibly be used by some ambitious or confused expatriate Scot. ;-)

"Fern, fur, fir" in Scottish English are ["fE4n "fV4 "fI4]. So to be non-rhotic and keep the distinction, I guess you would have to have a double set of centering diphthongs, contrasting [E@], [I@] (or [E:], [I:]) with [e@], [i@], and using [V@] or [3:] in "fur".
Gabriel   Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:32 pm GMT
On the subject of confused Scots, John Wells mentions somewhere in his "Accents of English" the case of one who, attempting RP, generalizes the change of realization of his/her /o/ from [o] to [@U] and then applies R-dropping to generate pseudo-RP pronunciations like *[d@U@] for "door" for example.
MegaBox   Mon Feb 26, 2007 11:33 pm GMT
<<*[d@U@] for "door" for example.>>

So is that "doe-uh"?
Josh Lalonde   Tue Feb 27, 2007 2:09 am GMT
I didn't expect it to really exist. It's more like a thought experiment for me. I imagine fern as [fE@n], fur as [fV:] and fir as [fI:]. The last one would present an interesting possibility of a fear-fir merger, since the former is increasingly being pronounced as a monophthong. Either way, it seems unlikely that an accent could maintain a distinction between [I@] and [I:] for long: either they would move away from each other or merge. It's all just speculation though.
Lazar   Tue Feb 27, 2007 3:21 am GMT
It is an interesting idea though. You could actually have quite a bit of fun just making up new dialects, combining all sorts of different features. ;-)
Josh Lalonde   Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:32 pm GMT
I find it interesting that non-rhoticism has spread relentlessly throughout England and Wales, with only a few West Country accents not affected, yet has made no inroads into Scotland. Maybe it's because Scotland had a prestige dialect in Scottish Standard English, while Wales and England all looked to the South for their prestige dialect. That raises another question though: why didn't Southern English Engish (pre-RP) become the prestige accent when the Scots started speaking English after 1707?
Gordon Bennett   Tue Feb 27, 2007 10:49 pm GMT
Josh me ol' mate. I'll tell you sumfing, I'm surprised the Scots learnt English at all heh-heh. Anyway, I'm going out for a ruby. Do ya want plain nann with yours, son?.
Victoria   Wed Feb 28, 2007 10:09 pm GMT
So I know some people in my country who speak the Swedish with a different dialect. Maybe they are coming to England too, yes?.