Is /r/ in RP labialised in all positions?
For example: In words like real, free, proud, tree, brother, borrow, dream, throw etc.
Is it labialised in all positions (like intervocalic, post-consonantal etc)?
Linguistics Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional linguists and others with an interest in linguistic research and theory. It only takes a minute to sign up.Sign up to join this community
This 1999 paper summarises it simply in its second section:
Gimson says of /r/ in RP British English that “[a]lthough for perhaps the majority of RP speakers the lip position of /r/ is determined by that of the following vowel, some speakers labialize /r/ whatever the following vowel.” Perhaps this labialization of /r/ has become the norm, at least in Standard Southern British English. According to Roach, in /r/ “it is usual for the lips to be slightly rounded”.
The latest version of Gimson's still says this.