Date: Mon, 24 Jul 1995 16:34:18 -0400 From: "William A. Kretzschmar, Jr." Subject: Re: idear It is well-established that some r-less dialects (Eastern New England, RP in England) also have "linking r". This is a shibboleth in RP, decried as awful by purists but occuring in the speech of a great many. "Linking r" occurs intervocalically. People used to say that JFK said "Cubar"; he only said that when the word following Cuba began with a vowel, as in "Cuba and the USSR", so that the r actually belongs to the environment (intervocalic juncture) rather than to particular words. The classic test for the word by dialectologists is the phrase "the idea of it", somewhat passe now but formerly a common phrase, i.e., "linking r" users would put an r sound between "idea" and "of". "Linking r" is different from "excrescent r", which is the insertion of a non-etymological r sound within a syllable, as when the words "wash" or "Washington" are pronounced as "warsh" and "Warshington". In Linguistic Atlas files (mid-century, not current), "excrescent r" seems most frequent in the Midland (esp. West Virginia and western PA) but scattered occurrences are found also in the North. My own grandma, from central Michigan, was a decided "excrescent r" user. Regards, Bill ****************************************************************************** Bill Kretzschmar Phone: 706-542-2246 Dept. of English (Park 317) FAX: 706-542-2181 University of Georgia Internet: billk[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] Athens, GA 30602-6205 Atlas Web Page: