In an earlier post (7/20/2006), I asked for examples of liquid dissimilation in English, such as omitting /r/ in the(r)mometer, Feb(r)uary, su(r)prise, etc.
There also seem to be cases where an /r/ is inserted into words that already contain an /r/. Some examples I’ve heard or had reported to me include:
- ardurous (the OED gives this as a ‘poetic variant’)
- verneer (would you trust this dentist?)
- fruneral (African American English)
- borogroves (this has entered the epigraphic record, conveniently for future philologists)
There are also historical examples like cartridge from cartouche, and treasury from thesauria.
This process is interesting because it is the reverse of long-distance dissimilatory loss of /r/. The existence of such a reverse process is predicted by Ohala’s theory that dissimilation results from hypercorrection on the part of the listener. According to this theory, the long-domain acoustic cues of /r/ can cause the listener to be uncertain whether there is one source of rhoticity in the word or two. Errors are possible in either direction.
Has anyone noticed other cases of this?