What is the history of the pronounciation of "R" in New Orleans?

asked 2016-05-02 23:00:36 -0500

Vernon gravatar image

I am a Californian, and I lived in New Orleans for 2 years. Aside from many other differences in language, I noticed that many people pronounced "R," and "E" as 2 syllables. For example, I pronounce ER [i-r]. The unit clerks in the hospital pronounced the same word [i-ɑ-r-ɑ]. There may have been other instances of following a consonant by ɑ, but I was not aware of it. I heard somebody use the second pronunciation in California, and presumed the speaker was from New Orleans or somewhere in the South. Unlike the phrase "making groceries," I found no such connection. Do we know where this difference comes from and what it's rooted in?

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