iron: /@r/ vs syllabic /r/

Fri Aug 11 07:03:48 UTC 2000

>        From a more surfacy comparative point of view, it makes sense to
>recognize the /@r/ as a sequence, since then r-less varieties can be
>derived by dropping the /r/, but leaving the /@/. I'm guessing, without
>checking, that at least some versions of RP in England might drop the
>retroflexion, leaving /ay at n/. Does this ever converge with <ion>?

For me, a British English speaker (not RP, but non-rhotic), 'iron' and 'ion'
are pure homophones. Viz. the Bob Marley song (certainly not an RP speaker,
by any stretch of the imagination): "Iron, Lion, Zion", where all three
words rhyme.


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