Author Topic: R-suffix between 2 words in spoken language  (Read 2478 times)

Offline andelin

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R-suffix between 2 words in spoken language
« on: February 26, 2014, 01:04:21 PM »
Hi!

I'm wondering what is the name of the phenomenom in speech especially used by the brits where a semi-silent extended R-like sound is added between a word that ends in a vowel and a word that begins with a vowel instead of a short hiatus, supposedly to ease the pronunciation. For example, "He is dancing samba[-rr] in a club".

As a non-native English spekaee I'd like to know how long this style of speech has been around, as I can't remember hearing it in any older recordings of speech I've heard.

Thanks!

Offline Daniel

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Re: R-suffix between 2 words in spoken language
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2014, 05:13:55 PM »
I think R-insertion and linking R have been used.

This page has some info:
https://notendur.hi.is/peturk/KENNSLA/02/TOP/rlinking.html

I don't know about how long it has been part of the dialects, but I would assume not longer than about 400 years, given that the loss of R is a recent development, as I understand it.


This is a rare instance of grammaticalized analogy-- not exactly a normal sound change, but now part of the phonological rules for the language. Very interesting. (Actually, I was just telling me students about this today in class!)
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Offline freknu

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Re: R-suffix between 2 words in spoken language
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 06:30:59 PM »
I don't know about how long it has been part of the dialects, but I would assume not longer than about 400 years, given that the loss of R is a recent development, as I understand it.

I would be quite interested in an explanation/overview of this development, seeing how my dialect has a similar feature.

Do you know how it developed?

Offline Daniel

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Re: R-suffix between 2 words in spoken language
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 10:33:05 PM »
Hm... I don't really know.

My logic is that non-rhotic dialects must have developed or become widespread in England after the future-Americans left, because that's why the R is preserved elsewhere, and also because I remember hearing that in many ways the American accent is actually more representative of earlier English (like Shakespeare). [I don't know how accurate that is in the big picture, but I do think it applies to R.]

So given the approximately 400 year timeline, I assume it developed later. Areas still connected to England a little longer, like Boston, also end up with some effects of this.

Searching a bit comes up with a few results:
http://www.oxfordhandbooks.com/view/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199922765.001.0001/oxfordhb-9780199922765-e-63
/r/-sandhi is a very technical term that appears to cover this, to re-answer the original question better than my last post.

For development, this Wikipedia article actually does a good job:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhotic_and_non-rhotic_accents#Development_of_non-rhotic_accents
That page mentions some other languages also. Word-final R in German, for example, is more or less not pronounced (it becomes a vowel that colors the preceding vowel).

That leads to the "intrustive R" page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linking_and_intrusive_R
No clear answer on how early it developed, but that page seems to suggest it's fairly recently (1900s?) becoming widespread.
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Offline freknu

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Re: R-suffix between 2 words in spoken language
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 10:39:57 PM »
My logic is that non-rhotic dialects must have developed or become widespread in England after the future-Americans left, because that's why the R is preserved elsewhere, and also because I remember hearing that in many ways the American accent is actually more representative of earlier English (like Shakespeare). [I don't know how accurate that is in the big picture, but I do think it applies to R.]

Certainly the vocabulary of standard American English can actually be more archaic than Received Pronounciation, but when it comes to dialects I'm less certain. I do remember there being an English dialect of the west coast of the US, maybe up north closer to Canada, where still today they speak an uncannily archaic dialect. One begins to wonder how representative it is of older English.

Thanks for the links! I'll look through them to see if I can find anything relevant. It's particularly world final -r that I'm interested in, and if there is a similar phenomenon in German, then whoopie! More data to compare.

Offline Trompette

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Re: R-suffix between 2 words in spoken language
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 08:09:37 AM »
Hi there,

The Longman Pronunciation Dictionary calls it intrusive R and contrasts it with R-liaison -- when there is an 'r' at the end of the word but it just isn't pronounced in isolation or when followed by a consonnant (in non-rhotic varieties of English).
It also says that it's frowned upon by some, because why would you pronounce a letter that isn't there.

I think it's also called excrescent 'R'; excrescence is when a consonnant is added to ease pronunciation.

Hope this helped a bit.