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Roger Mills wrote:

>John Cowan wrote:
>
>
>
>>Roger Mills scripsit:
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>>>Which is exactly what written English does.  I've suggested in that past
>>>that the _underlying_ phonology of _all_ Engl. dialects (the
>>>
>>>
>standard-ish
>
>
>>>one, at any rate) does have /r/ in all the positions where it is
>>>
>>>
>written.
>
>
>>I think you are right, but there are difficulties.  What about ARSE, for
>>example?  The universal North American pronunciation is [&:s]; does this
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>have
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>>underlying /r/ or not?  Surely you don't want to claim that BASS, the
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>fish,
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>>is underlyingly /bars/ or /b&rs/ (OE "baers").
>>
>>
>
>In terms of the written lang. we'd just have to acknowledge that a few words
>vary, even if their pronunciation obeys some other regular rule-- [&s] vs.
>[A:s] (or whatever) is in the same class as [gr&s]-[grA:s] or [b&T]-[bAT]
>etc.  Is RP "bass (fish)" [bAs]? I seem to recall that not all US [&] are
>[A] in RP, some are still [&]
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>
>

Most are still [&].   A few, mostly before fricatives(I'm not sure if
there is an exact rule), are [A:].  That's why I suggest that a seperate
representation for [A:] in RP where it is [&] in USAian.  Like I said,
|aa| would probably make the most sense.  'arse', on the other hand, is
definitely an 'r' word in Rightpondian - rhotic British dialects have
[A:rs].