One of the most defining characteristics of the Standard American English accent is its ‘rhoticity,’ or the pronunciation of the letter R. Unlike Standard British English, Standard American English always pronounces the letter R regardless of its position within a word. In today’s episode, we trace the origins and evolutions of this feature of Standard American English. (Spoiler alert: The prevalence of rhoticity in American English has ebbed and flowed over time.)
The English spoken in America began to diverge from the English spoken in Britain shortly after British settlers arrived in the New World. In today’s episode, we look at several ways how ‘Americanisms’ began to form and how English speakers on the other side of the pond reacted to them.
In today's episode, I interview linguist, professor, blogger, and author Lynne Murphy about her book, The Prodigal Tongue: The Love-Hate Relationship Between American and British English. We talk about topics such as the British media's take on ‘Americanisms,’ nonsensical prescriptivism, national attitudes toward language, and so much more.
Lynne's blog, Separated by a Common Language:
To purchase The Prodigal Tongue: