Residual Rhoticity and Emergent r-sandhi in the North West and South West of England: Different Approaches to Hiatus-Resolution?

  • William Barras


Rates of production of r-sandhi are compared in recordings of speech from two dialect areas: East Lancashire, which is still variably rhotic, and Oxfordshire, which is now non-rhotic but which was a rhotic area in the Survey of English Dialects. Some East Lancashire speakers appear to have simultaneous rhoticity and r-sandhi—possibly, as some form of ‘last gasp’ stage before eventual loss of rhoticity. The Oxfordshire speakers conform to a more typical pattern of non-rhoticity and presence of r-sandhi, but, particularly for younger speakers, rates of both intrusive-r and linking-r are variable, with vowel hiatus being alternatively resolved with a glottal stop. This could reflect the spread of a levelled hiatus resolution system, also affecting high vowels as well as the non-high vowels associated with r-sandhi.



Map data from this chapter was drawn with outlines from


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© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • William Barras
    • 1
  1. 1.University of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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