Re: Non-rhoticity in US English

From: tgpedersen@...
Message: 7706
Date: 2001-06-21

--- In cybalist@..., "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> The focal area of non-rhoticity in Britain was the SE Midlands,
East Anglia, Essex and London -- roughly, the southern half of the
original Danelaw. Non-rhoticity (that is, the complete vocalisation
of non-prevocalic /r/) became widespread there in the 18th century,
then gained a firm foothold in London, and after a period of symbolic
resistance offered by contemporary grammarians, most of whom
condemned it as a vulgar mannerism, was eventually accepted as a
feature of the emerging standard pronunciation (proto-RP).
It could be argued that Danish is (partially) non-rhotic today, since
r's in inlaut and auslaut is changed into a back vowel /o/ which
forms a diphthong with the preceding vowel (or lowers it and
disappears) gør "does" /gøo/,
ser "sees" /seo?/, but har "has" /ha?/, får "gets" /fo?/. But I have
always thought this vowel was a modified uvular /r/.

> The early accents of North American English absorbed many features
of South and West Country English, but also of East Anglia and the
London area. For example, "yod-dropping" in words like <duke, tune,
new> is characteristic not only of most American accents but also of
conservative London Cockney. In East Anglia the process has gone even
further -- /j/ is dropped there after all consonants, e.g. in <mute,
huge, pure, few, view>.

"dropping" seems to imply it was once there?

> Piotr