Wednesday, 22 October 2014

unetymological r-liaison / intrusive r / epenthetic r

In my blog post of the 1st of October this year I drew your attention to two of the many finds made by Paul Carley. They were about epenthetic r or intrusive r or unetymological r-liaison. There's a nice, succinct description of this phenomenon in the 3rd ed. of Practical Phonetics and Phonology by Collins and Mees on p. 124.
As the authors rightly state, the /r/ pops up mostly after word-final /ɑː ɔː ə/ and after diphthongs ending in schwa. The majority of cases involves the vowels /ɔː, ə/, less often is the /r/ heard after words ending in /ɑː/.
Our reliable phonetic phenomena spotter and rapporteur Paul has recently come up with two examples of unetymological r-liaison after a PALM vowel (i.e. /ɑː/):

1. "[...]to do the cha cha ch /r/ isn't it."


2."It's a 7-foot grand piano made by Yamaha/r/ * uhm It's'n amazing piano."


This second snippet seems to be less straightforward because I hear the /r/ and next a /z/ followed by a very brief hesitation sound and then, finally, the "it's'n" is uttered.


  1. Here's another (very recent) example of unetymological r-liaison:

    At 06:07, the speaker, a Sandra Bell, pronounces "via" as [vɑːr]. I dealt with this kind of epenthetic /r/ in one of my blog posts of 2012: