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    #1

    Who rolls their rs?

    From the news:

    It's often said that the biggest difference between a British accent and an American one is rhotacism; words in British English have a flat "r" sound, while in American English the sound is rolled. And it goes on: New York and Boston accents, for example, have a flat "r" sound

    Is that so? Only in these two places? How to call the pronunciation of the "r" by the vast majority of the US citizens?

    I have always thought that languages, such as Dutch, Spanish and Polish roll the consonant in question. I am not implying the 'r' isn't sounded in AmE, but it is not rolled either, in my humble opinion, except for some of those who speak English as a second language.
    The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
    Mark Twain

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    #2

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    Some parts of the UK do- many Scottish speakers, for instance. I don't (British English speaker from England).

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Auldlangsyne View Post
    From the news:

    “It's often said that the biggest difference between a British accent and an American one is rhotacism; words in British English have a flat "r" sound, while in American English the sound is rolled.” And it goes on:” New York and Boston accents, for example, have a flat "r" sound”

    Is that so? Only in these two places? How to call the pronunciation of the "r" by the vast majority of the US citizens?

    I have always thought that languages, such as Dutch, Spanish and Polish roll the consonant in question. I am not implying the 'r' isn't sounded in AmE, but it is not rolled either, in my humble opinion, except for some of those who speak English as a second language.
    I agree 100% that in AmE we do not roll our "r"s. But the suggestion that we do gives me pause: am I perhaps misunderstanding the meaning of "rolling r's"?

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    #4

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    I agree 100% that in AmE we do not roll our "r"s. But the suggestion that we do gives me pause: am I perhaps misunderstanding the meaning of "rolling r's"?
    That is exactly how I reacted do I get it wrong? Could it be that all these years I have been mistaken? Struck by the idea that rolling might mean something completely different to what I have always thought it meant, I nervously started to read Wikipedia to sort it out.
    It is comforting to hear from someone living over the pond that I was not far from the truth, after all.
    The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
    Mark Twain

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    #5

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Some parts of the UK do- many Scottish speakers, for instance. I don't (British English speaker from England).
    I couldnt agree more, albeit nowadays, even in most remote places of Scotland one who expects to only hear the regional Scottish English dialects or Scottish Gaelic language might be very surprised to see how many people over there speak English (RP) not influenced by the place they live in, at all.
    The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
    Mark Twain

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    #6

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    The spread of Estuary English is similar- I find features that would once have been described as London/Cockney English cropping up everywhere I go in the UK.

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    #7

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    Exactly. That is why I decided to learn most common expressions from this very area, not that I am into it, but I was looking blankly when I first heard Give us a Butchers, and since It turns out some of the Cockney slang is well known throughout the UK, it is good to know most popular terms. Not too much, as it is hard to absorb all that terminology.
    The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter - 'tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.
    Mark Twain

  2. probus's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    We are listening hard.

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    #9

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    A 'butcher's hook' is called a 'Captain Cook' in Australian.
    I've never thought of Americans rolling their r's. Rhoticity doesn't imply rolling.

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    #10

    Re: Who rolls their rs?

    Quote Originally Posted by Auldlangsyne View Post
    Exactly. That is why I decided to learn most common expressions from this very area, not that I am into it, but I was looking blankly when I first heard “Give us a Butcher’s”, and since It turns out some of the Cockney slang is well known throughout the UK, it is good to know most popular terms. Not too much, as it is hard to absorb all that terminology.
    Pronunciation features like the glottal stop are also spreading. Tony Blair, for instance, drops his t's when he's speaking to a British audience- abroad, he's more RP.

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