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Thread: silent R

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    #1

    silent R

    Dear all,

    Does the letter "R" always silent at the end or there are some cases where "final r" is pronounced??

    Can you please provide me some examples?

    Thanks a lot.

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    #2

    Re: silent R

    Quote Originally Posted by maiabulela View Post
    Dear all,

    Is the letter "R" always silent at the end of syllables or there are some cases where "final r" is pronounced??

    Can you please provide me with some examples?

    Thanks a lot.
    I presume you are talking about words like "car", "lobster" and "hear".

    It is all about accents - speakers with rhotic accents usually pronounce the final "r", people with non-rhotic accents usually don't.

    The typical American accent is rhotic, the typical British accent is non-rhotic.

    Beyond that, it gets complicated - some American accents are non-rhotic, some British accents are rhotic and sometimes people with rhotic accents pronounce the final r. Wikipedia has an article on this.

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    #3

    Re: silent R

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    I presume you are talking about words like "car", "lobster" and "hear".

    It is all about accents - speakers with rhotic accents usually pronounce the final "r", people with non-rhotic accents usually don't.

    The typical American accent is rhotic, the typical British accent is non-rhotic.

    Beyond that, it gets complicated - some American accents are non-rhotic, some British accents are rhotic and sometimes people with rhotic accents pronounce the final r. Wikipedia has an article on this.
    So it's all a matter of accent. No other rule or exception?

    Thanks.

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    #4

    Re: silent R

    Quote Originally Posted by maiabulela View Post
    So it's all a matter of accent. No other rule or exception?

    Thanks.
    Yes it is a matter of accent but there are rules and exceptions. For example, like most people with non-rhotic accents, I pronounce the linking R. To steal an example from Wikipedia:

    I would pronounce the word "tuner" ˈtjuːnə - no "r" sound there.

    ˈBut if I said "tuner amp" I would pronounce the "r" because "amp" begins with a vowel sound. I would say tjuːnər śmp.

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    #5

    Re: silent R

    Quote Originally Posted by Munch View Post
    Yes it is a matter of accent but there are rules and exceptions. For example, like most people with non-rhotic accents, I pronounce the linking R. To steal an example from Wikipedia:

    I would pronounce the word "tuner" ˈtjuːnə - no "r" sound there.

    ˈBut if I said "tuner amp" I would pronounce the "r" because "amp" begins with a vowel sound. I would say tjuːnər śmp.
    Thanks a lot. That is what I needed to know. Thanks a for the transcription, too ;)
    Last edited by maiabulela; 15-Nov-2010 at 12:54.

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    #6

    Re: silent R

    There's also another factor, besides accent, namely unclear pronunciation. I recently heard a person pronouncing "ragged" as "agged", which doesn't have anything to do with rhoticity I believe. The same person pronounced "darn" in a non-rhotic way even though she was from the Midwest.

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    #7

    Re: silent R

    Quote Originally Posted by maiabulela View Post
    So it's all a matter of accent. No other rule or exception?

    Thanks.
    It is further complicated by the fact that some American accents are non-rhotic. For example, some Boston and New York accents do not pronounce the 'r' at the end of words.

    I'm from California, so I have a "standard" American accent and I always pronounce the 'r's. I sound like national news anchors.

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