Date: Tue, 25 Jul 1995 00:36:11 -0400
From: David Carlson Davidhwaet[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]AOL.COM
Subject: Re: idear
Bill's explanation is quite correct about the so-called "linking-r" in
Eastern New England and the fact that it is junctural and occurs
intervocalically when one word ends in a vowel and the next word begins with
a vowel. Hence JFK's "Cuba rand the United States" is quite natural for us
in these parts as is "law rand order" with no /r/ phone in "order". One of
my nieces had a passion for "rice cream" based upon her hearing "vanilla rice
cream" as a normal request for vanilla ice cream. She would never say
"vaniller", nor did JFK ever say "Cubar.
"Idear is found in the New England Atlas by speakers who live very close to
the boundary between Eastern and Western New England speech (by and large the
Conn. River), and they are predominantly r-ful. What they have heard is "the
idea rof it", and they interpret it to have their own word bounday in "idea'
which is then realized as "idear". No r-ful speaker that I am aware of ever
attaches the /r/ to "of" to produce "rof". That would sound silly.
The reason we have this so-called "linking-r" and not "idear", "Cubar", and
"vaniller" is that we lack post-vocalic /r/, and I suspect a good many of us
also lack intervocalic /r/ which leads me to a comment I had intended to make
about the pron of harrassmen duting the earlier discussion. In ENE the first
two syllables of "harrassment" do not rhyme with "her *ss".
What this means is that we have only pre-vocalic /r/, and we do nor rhyme
"mary" "marry" and "merry", nor do we rhyme "furry", "hurry", and "worry".
In my salad days I didn't quite know what to make of people who did.
David R. Carlson