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OT: YAEPT: Sound changes in English place names (was Re: Another Glossotechnia playtesting report)

From:Eric Christopherson <rakko@...>
Date:Thursday, March 27, 2008, 6:46
On Mar 26, 2008, at 1:35 PM, taliesin the storyteller wrote:
> * Jim Henry said on 2008-03-18 22:56:54 +0100 >> Also: what would I call a card that causes >> a certain phoneme to disappear entirely in >> certain contexts, not being replaced by another >> phoneme? E.g., unstressed /e/ disappears >> wherever a permitted consonant cluster >> would result, > > This (with a vowel) is "syncope", one of the reasons > "Featherstonehough" is pronounced "Fanshaw" and "Leicester" is > pronounced "Lester".
Does anyone know the approximate sound changes, and the order they went in, to get to the current pronunciation of <Featherstonehough>? I can imagine some of them, but others are mysterious, e.g. where the /S/ comes from. It even seems to have a metathesis, which I assume is sporadic. Syncope alone does not seem enough to me. (Plus I would think <hough> was /hVf/ or /hau/ or something, but not /hO/.) I can understand <Leicester> and almost understand <Worcester>, although I don't understand why it has /U/ instead of /3:/. Then there's <Cholmondeley> /tSVmli/. I can't tell if the /l/ is the reflex of the first <l> (via metathesis again) or the second. Finally, there is a word <charivari> /SIv@ri/, borrowed from French, which also looks like it should have one more syllable than it does (as reflected in the American spelling <shivaree>). Anyway, are these sound changes considered 'regular' in the history of English? Or at least regular within a certain domain (e.g. place names)?
> > "Apocope" is common and active in the dialect where I live: > dropping the unstressed final vowel of a word. > > > t., back from easter holidays, with a cold as a souvenir


T. A. McLeay <conlang@...>
Eugene Oh <un.doing@...>