Dr. Long agreed. He told me in an email: “I would refer to [Scooby’s disorder] as a phonological as opposed to a phonetic disorder in that he shows a pattern of substituting and adding sounds in his speech rather than just distorting sounds.”
So in terms of a diagnosis, Scooby doesn’t distort words, he adds onto them. “Uh oh” becomes “ruh roh” and “apple” becomes “rapple.” The technical term for this, Dr. Long told me, is rhotacization. In linguistics and speech pathology, rhotacization means changing some consonant like /d/ or /l/ to an /r/. Though Scooby definitely adds an /r/ to words that don’t begin with consonants, this complete rhotacization still basically describes his speech.
Giving the honors to Dr. Long, after 45 long years of odd pronunciations, he offered me Scooby’s official diagnosis: “Rhotic Replacement”.
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