Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sun Aug 19 13:24:09 UTC 2001


We have (appropriately) overlooked "horror," and "terror," but this
quick note is to stave off any claims that there are speakers of US
English who delete the medial /r/ in such words. They don't, of
course. /tEror/ --> /tEr at r/ (where /@/ = schwa) --> /terr/ (where the
second /r/ is "syllabic") --> /tEr:/.


PS: I do remember a Macbeth performance where everybody was tickled
with the actor's monosyllabic "horror, horror, horror": I was not.
(And it was "tickled," not the precriptivist horror at
monosyllabification.) I finally figgered it out. I (or course) have
the /aw ~ /o/ distinction before /r/, and his pronunciation - /hawr/
- was not homophonous for me with "whore" (/hor/ in Standard English,
i.e., what I speak), as it was for all the flatlanders.

>         You grew up closer to the source than I did, but I don't think
>I've heard anyone "drop" the -/r/- in <carry> who didn't also vocalize it
>in final position, though Arnold argues that these are different. If it is
>syllabified as /kaer-iy/, the two fall together. Or could there be a
>re-etymologization of this as <care> + <y>? Is the -/r/- dropped in Larry,
>Mary, leary, berry, bury, sorry? I've often seen <carry> represented as
>"ca'y" in transcriptions of AAVE, but don't recall other examples (one
>exception: <ta'pin> for <terrapin>).
>         Rudy

Dennis R. Preston
Department of Linguistics and Languages
Michigan State University
East Lansing MI 48824-1027 USA
preston at
Office: (517)353-0740
Fax: (517)432-2736

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