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PLACES THE LETTER R IS SILENT IN BRITISH ENGLISH

British English is not my main area of study, so all I can offer are some miscellaneous impressions: In general, I would suspect that the letters called silent in American English in previous answers to questions about silent letters would also be silent in British English. But there are some complicating differences: In some dialects of British English, for instance (such as Cockney), there are apparently no initial [h] sounds. Where American English has initial [h] in words like horrible and humble, some British dialects do not. On the other hand, while the initial <h> is silent in American English herb, it is sounded in some British dialects. One might expect similar complications in the case of <r>.

Non-rhotic pronunciations – that is, pronunciations where the letter <r> is not sounded except before a vowel (<r> dropping) – seem to be more common in British English, an important subject about which, alas, I know very little. A good starting source would be Otto Jespersen's Sounds and Spellings, the first part of his A Modern English Grammar on Historical Principles

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