Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-pcn4s Total loading time: 0.213 Render date: 2022-05-28T07:13:54.639Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

Article contents

W(h)ither the /r/ in Britain?

Weighing up a new style of pronunciation

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  11 November 2014

Extract

In sound recordings of British English from the first part of the last century we can hear some speakers whose pronunciation of the letter r, in words such as ring, bread and around, sounded just like a /w/. We know, too, from literary texts, that it goes back further. This article is about another, newer, pronunciation of /r/ in British English, close to /w/, but distinct from it, that has increased in frequency and prominence in the last decade. In it, the lips are less pursed than for a /w/ and you sense there is less muscular tension than for what we might call the ‘traditional’ /r/ of speakers of standard English. In ambiguous contexts it could still cause confusion, as between real and wheel, or crack and quack. It may occur less in Scottish, Welsh and Irish accents than in ones from England.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2014 

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Ball, M., Perkins, M., Müller, N. & Howard, S. 2008. The Handbook of Clinical Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bradford, B. 1997. ‘Upspeak in British English.’ English Today, 13(3), 2936.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Milroy, J. & Milroy, L. 1999. Authority in Language. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
Trudgill, P. 1974. The Social Differentiation of English in Norwich. Cambridge Studies in Linguistics 13. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
Trudgill, P. 1988. ‘Norwich revisited: recent linguistic changes in an English urban dialect.’ English World-Wide, 9, 3349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trudgill, P. 1999. ‘Norwich: endogenous and exogenous linguistic change.’ In Foulkes, P. & Docherty, G. (eds.), Urban Voices: Accent Studies in the British Isles. London: Arnold, pp. 124140.Google Scholar
Weiner, E. & Upton, C. 2000. ‘[hat], [hæt] and all that.’ English Today, 16(1), 4446.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
1
Cited by

Save article to Kindle

To save this article to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

W(h)ither the /r/ in Britain?
Available formats
×

Save article to Dropbox

To save this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

W(h)ither the /r/ in Britain?
Available formats
×

Save article to Google Drive

To save this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you used this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

W(h)ither the /r/ in Britain?
Available formats
×
×

Reply to: Submit a response

Please enter your response.

Your details

Please enter a valid email address.

Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *