There are a few words in English that end with two adjacent syllabic R's (in theory). For example, let's take the word deliverer. As a non-native speaker, I find it very hard to pronounce those two syllabic R's one after the other. So far, these variants have come to my mind:

  1. [dɪˈlɪ.vr̩.r̩]
  2. [dɪˈlɪ.vr̩.ər]
  3. [dɪˈlɪ.vər.r̩]
  4. [dɪˈlɪ.və.rər]

So, how do native speakers of American English normally pronounce such words?

  • @JCG Sorry JCG, I thought you were just a person who hated pronunciation! I've deleted my comments. Welcome to ELU. :) Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 20:59
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    @Araucaria I have also deleted my comments, thanks for the help. As for the question at hand, in my opinion I would pronounce words that end with two adjacent syllabic R's, with an "ur-ur" or an "er-er" sound. (D-liv-ur-ur).
    – JCG
    Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 21:09
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    What happens in my speech, anyway, is that the penultimate syllable nucleus disappears, leaving /dəˈlɪvrr̩/. /rr̩/ (or /rər/ or /rɨr/) is pretty easy to pronounce as an isolated syllable -- all it takes is a rounded lip movement -- and if you back it up to a consonant at the end of a word, it's its own syllable and makes no difficulties. Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 21:42
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    When I'm talking, the first /r/ is a "retroflex" /r/ and the second /r/ is a "bunched" /r/. These sounds are made in different areas of the mouth, so you don't have problems with your tongue tripping over itself trying to make the same consonant twice in a row. But of course, you have to be able to make both types of /r/s easily for this to work, and I don't think even all English speaking Americans can do that. Commented Nov 5, 2015 at 21:54

1 Answer 1


I don't think it is necessary to do this, but a possible and natural sounding solution is to put a glottal stop between the two syllabic r's: [diˈlɪvɹ̩ʔɹ̩].

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