I was watching Real Time /w Bill Maher yesterday and they had this British guest on. Words that ended with an A, she would add an extra R at the end. Obama would become Obamer, idea would become idear, etc.
Does anyone else notice this when they hear British people speaking? Any cause for why they do this?
I sometimes listen to BBC World Service on public radio just to hear the British correspondettes talk about the lawr. I also like the way they pronounce “body” (comes out sounding like “bawwdy”). Occasionally I get a two-fer if they talk about a “bawwdy” of “lawr”. It’s just so cute.
My appreciation of this probably stems from watching “The Avengers” too much in my youth and developing a mini-crush on Emma Peel.
As you know, in “non-rhotic” British varieties (not all British varieties are this way), word-final ‘r’ is deleted. However, you can tell that the ‘r’ is still ‘there’ because it will still be realized when the word is followed by another word starting with a vowel, so that it won’t be pronounced in “fair trade,” but will be pronounced in “fair age.”
Words ending in vowels that are pronounced the same way as if the words ended in ‘r’, such as ‘Obama’ (rhymes with ‘charmer’), can have ‘r’ inserted between themselves and a vowel-beginning word in the same way.
This only works with vowel-ending words that are in fact homophonous to an ‘r’-ending word. It won’t work with other vowel-ending words, such as “party” or “latte,” because those aren’t contexts in which ‘r’ could otherwise be inserted.
Precisely. If you listen carefully, the R seems to be inserted in between vowels: between a word that ends in a vowel, and the next word beginning with a vowel. For instance, “America is” becomes “Americer is.”
My maternal Grand-Parents were from around Lancashire (Southport and Preston) and this “R” thing was pretty much second nature as I recall. If you have access to “Coronation Street” you will hear this frequently. I was told it is part of commonspeak in and around Manchester.
My maternal Grand-Parents were from around Lancashire and this “R” thing was pretty much second nature as I recall. If you have access to “Coronation Street” you will hear this frequently. I was told it is part of commonspeak in and around Manchester.
Many Southerners do this too, by the way, if you haven’t noticed. It shows how the Southern U.S. accent is really more similar to the British accent than “General American” is. Wikipedia has a good article on this, with maps of Britain and America illustrating it.
It’s our fault. Here in New England, we export most of our Rs to other places where they can make better use of them. (and we import Hs from the UK) That’s why you hear people say “Close the cah doah, theyah’s a draft coming in!” Children under the age of twelve some times snitch them to put on the end of the word “idea” but we just ship off the rest of them elsewhere. Rs are our number 2 export, second only to real maple syrup.
There’s some sort of Law of Rs in physics that regulates the number of Rs in the universe. For example, ones that go missing in Boston (“Pahk ya cah in Hahvahd Yahd”) will reapper intact in Texas (“Gonner drill me an earl well.”)
I tried to find one, but those words that might be affected by it are not as common as you might think. Just think of any stereotypical British person’s accent, or especially mockeries of British (or Southern) accents. I’ll keep looking, though.