[Spellyans] The sound of r

Nicholas Williams njawilliams at gmail.com
Thu Dec 12 21:07:44 GMT 2013

No it is common in much of England. No Englishman or Englishwoman says Against the LawR.
That is what you hear.
The non-rhotic English speaker says, for example, It was against the law rafter that.
You syllabify as against the lawr, but this is impossible for a speaker who does not pronounce r at the end of a syllable.
It is certainly not an "Estuary English" feature. The term Estuary English is a disparaging term. I think it must refer to a rather slight Cockney tinge to Southern English. It's a rather offensive term
because Standard English is historically the dialect of London. 
Since the 1950s BBC announcers have been heard to say Waw Office for War Office, because they are so anxious to avoid
the intrusive r that they leave it out when it is there. They say waw for war, as I do. And can only say waw roffice. 
I have heard people in London say Emma rAnn for Emma Ann.
There was a popular song in 1968 which had the line 'I love Jennifer Eccles and I know that she loves me'.
The syllabification was clearly Jennifa Reccles. The lead singer was Allan Clarke who was from Manchester.
The English dialect of Manchester is non-rhotic. 
Hence the Mancunian joke (which must be told with a Mancunian accent):
How can you afford to go on all these cruises?
I work for Cunard 
So do I, but I can't afford cruises.

On occasion the Beatles, from Liverpool, also non-rhotic can be heard inserting an intrusive r.
Definitely not a feature solely of "Estuary English".


On 12 Dec 2013, at 10:11, kinhelfa . wrote:

> For instance 'Against the law' is often heard as 'Against the LawR.' Verry peculiarr!! Is this an invasive 'Estuary English' feature?

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