Click on the links to read more.
Leaving aside the notion that the local pronunciation is a "corruption", the BBC's discussion omits the most interesting part of the story, at least from an American point of view. They should have asked John Wells, whose discussion of the question I linked to at the time ("Myanmar is mama", 10/15/2007). And the explanations that I've heard and read this time around — yesterday on NPR, for example — again miss the key point. So here it is.
There is no 'r'!
Never was. Not in Burma and not in Myanmar. The 'r' is an orthographic imposition of post-rhotic British colonialists.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
more on orthographic r
Language Log has a discussion by Mark Liberman, reacting to a BBC News Magazine article on whether a certain country should be called Burma or Myanmar, that is relevant to our on-going observations about the contrast between 'r' in BrE orthography (spelling) versus its Received Pronunciation in post-vocalic (after vowel) contexts. The upshot is: