Dingo the Dissident

THE BLOG OF DISQUIET : Qweir Notions in the Armpit of Diogenes by DINGO the DISSIDENT binge-thinker since February 2008.

Friday, 13 May 2016

I was amazed to learn

that the snobbish Received Pronunciation (RP) in British English
began (so confusingly, regrettably) to lose the final and pre-consonantal R
(as in garner which now sounds the same as Ghana,
which now sounds the same as farther,
stork which now sounds the same as stalk...
and drawer which now sounds the same as draw)
only at the end of the 19th century (though the R persisted
among some in the Upper Classes until the end of World War One).
RP is spoken mainly in central and south-east England,
so the R remains especially and unbroken
in Scotland, Ireland, rural Wales and Western England -
and of course most other parts of the world where English is spoken.

(It is common for both final consonants and final vowels to be dropped over time:
e.g. final R in French and Icelandic, final I in Romanian, etc., but it is rare
for the medial R to disappear.)

1 comment:

Marcus Billson said...

The "R" is often dropped or drawled in Southern American accents.