disappearing r further information

You will probably have found some of the question easier to answer than others. The reason for this is that the pronunciation of the ‘r’ sound by some Glaswegians is becoming weaker over time in some word positions. In this quiz we looked at the ‘r’ sound in the middle of words and after particular vowel sounds where the sound seems to be weakening. Formally, this r-weakening is known as derhoticisation. All the stronger (or more rhotic) ‘r’ sounds were from young people recorded in the 1970s and all the weaker (or less rhotic) ‘r’ sounds were from young people recorded in the 2000s. Here is an example of the word ‘third’ from the quiz, firstly spoken by a young person recorded in the 1970s, and secondly spoken by a young person in the 2000s.



You can listen out for the more rhotic ‘r’ sounds in the ‘stories’ section of this website as the stories all come from elderly people who acquired their pronunciation further back in time. If you carry out the ‘comparing past and present’ activity from the ‘activities section’ you may speak to people who have more and less rhotic ‘r’ sounds when pronouncing certain words.


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