In British English, very often the Rs that are there in the written form of the word are not actually pronounced at all. How, then, could native speakers of early American English eventually recover these Rs?

  • 2
    They never recovered these Rs, they just kept them, it was the British who lost them. – Yellow Sky Aug 1 '15 at 17:39
  • @YellowSky wow. Well, that changes everything. – user132181 Aug 1 '15 at 18:01
  • Life went on in England, even after the American colonists left. So their language changed; they do that. – jlawler Aug 1 '15 at 22:28
  • "Americans returning to England after the end of the American Revolutionary War reported surprise at the significant changes in fashionable pronunciation.[4] By the early 19th century, the southern British standard was fully transformed into a non-rhotic variety." from en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhoticity_in_English – Greg Lee Aug 2 '15 at 20:59
  • Bear in mind that, although standard [RP] British English is non-rhotic, big chunks of southern England are still rhotic. You don't have to go very far west of London before you start hearing all those Rs being sounded. I guess that's why, in (London-based) comedy, farmers are always given accents that exaggerate the Rs. – David Garner Aug 14 '15 at 15:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.