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

Springfield College