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“Where’re you going?” (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and the Philosopher's Stone's audios)

Jim Dale—the first one—and Stephen Fry—the second one—are both British. I expected them to pronounce "where're" as /ˈwɛərər/ having intrusive /r/. But it seems it isn't there in either. Is there a certain pronunciation pattern that when the same vowels meet together—in this case schwa plus schwa—the two combine together and so there's no room for intrusive /r/? Or did I just hear wrong?

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    You can pronounce it with the intrusive 'r', but when you're speaking quickly, there are lots of cases where you can leave certain sounds out. This is one of them. (And wouldn't it be /ˈwɛərə/ and not /ˈwɛərər/ anyway, because the "'re" is followed by a consonant?) Aug 8 '13 at 1:44
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    And to my ears, Jim Dale pronounces a very slight intrusive /r/. Aug 13 '13 at 21:51
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Is there a certain pronunciation pattern that when the same vowels meet together—in this case schwa plus schwa—the two combine together and so there's no room for intrusive /r/? Or did I just hear wrong?

Some observations:

(1) It's hard even for native speakers to 'hear correctly'; you can get most people not trained in language study to claim to pronounce letters they simply haven't pronounced. Hence most English speakers will claim (wrongly) to pronounce 'p' the same way in pit and in spit.

(2) You're getting into tricky territory, because phonetic 'segments' (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Segment_(linguistics)) are not nearly as clean-cut as we imagine them to be.

(3) There are lots of things that can happen when two similar sounds collide: You can get r-insertion. You can get dropping of the second sound, without or without lengthening of the first sound. Or you can get -- and this is an interesting one for the consecutive vowels case -- the insertion of a 'glottal stop'. In English this sound is generally unknown since it is never written down, unlike some other languages.

For example, I am pretty confident that all native English speakers, including myself, will automatically and unconsciously insert a glottal stop when spelling the word BEE out loud. The glottal stop goes where the hyphens are:

BEE-EE-EE

Otherwise it would not be possible to distinguish the letters. Unfortunately I couldn't get your audio to work, so I can't comment on that, but you can read more on the glottal stop here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glottal_stop and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/T-glottalization

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In the simple or perhaps "correct" sense (RP ?) I would say yes there is an intrusive /r/. But in if you cast your net wider then there's no single answer. It depends on context, cadence, accent, dialect, use of slang, and no doubt many other factors. For example in the British English dialects/accents Scouse and Geordie, both from the North of England, you would commonly hear "where're you going" as something like "were(z)-you(z)-goin'" or "were-ya-gannin", whereas in the South people would speak completely differently.

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