-rr- etc.

Rudolph C Troike rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU
Mon Aug 20 09:08:55 UTC 2001


        Thanks for the information on Irish English, which despite Roma
Downey and Ballykissangel I haven't paid as much attention to as I
shoulda (though I was delighted to hear an elderly actor on the latter use
"for to" recently). The "horror" anecdote will be a good one to try on my
Am English class. Alas, despite my mother's good example, I somehow picked
up my father's degraded phonemic contrasts before -/r/.
        A linguist friend once told of getting a letter from a Cockney
acquaintance during WWII which mentioned the "air raid walden", suggesting
a parallel vocalization of both resonants.
        The interesting example of "terror" having a successive
consonantal and vocalic [r] points to my continued preference for treating
the latter as phonemically /@r/, i.e. /tEr at r/, since the last syllable can
lose its retroflection in "r-dropping" varieties, leaving /tEr@/. The
change would be less transparent if the transcription were /tErr/ (a
low-level syllabification rule would presumably assure the syllabicity of
the second /r/).


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