Benjamin Kite — who I suspect was prompted by my last post — writes to ask:
I’m presently teaching spoken English to Chinese nationals and have been noticing the intrusion of an r-like consonant into words which contain schwas and other close-mid-to-open-mid vowels, especially followed by sibilants. Common examples are:
“famous” /fe mɝs/
“because” /bi kɔrz/
“Christmas” /kris mɝs/
“question” /kwɛs tʃɝn/
I’m trying to figure out when and where to expect it, but I can’t find enough consistency to predict when it will arise. Do you have any ideas?
Me, I have some relatively uninformed ideas. Anyone else out there know better? Please comment!