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Tristan wrote:
>> Aha.  So if we were to see those in written form, they'd be "Kerrs,
Barrs,
>> Kiers, Sars......perhaps?  Similarly there's Wills, in line to the
throne.
>> Does the s-addition work with sounds other than /r, l/?  Could we have
Matts
>> (Matthew?), Bobs? etc.
>
>You can have Sabz for Sabrina, I know that. And I have a friend
>(Anthony) who often calls himself Antz. But they're different, adding a
>-z/-s to the end of a word; my earlier examples had the R disappear and
>get replaced with a -z.
>
Not replacing; it's just non-rhotic speech doing its thing.
"Barry" > {drop the -y and add -s} > "Barrs"
(the amount of dropped material probably varies idiosyncratically) is simply
undergoing the same process as--
"bear-PL" > {add -s} > "bears"
Underlying intervocalic /r/ is dropped when it comes to stand in pre-cons.
position.

>> Somehow I doubt Prince Henry (Harry) will ever be called [he:z]
>> Hairs/Harrs????
That should have been [hE:z] for my imitation of r-less speech; I realize
now that you don't have the same vowel in "Harry" as in "hair" (as I do).

>Nup. He'd be called Haz, maybe Hazza or Hazzers, if anything. Harry
>isn't pronounced Hairy ;) (The vowel is different (/e:/, not /{/) in
>Sarah, that's why it stays different when the R is lost.)


That brings up another Brit thing-- addition of -er(s).  I've heard (TV
shows, upper class context) "brekker" for breakfast, "champers" for
Champagne. This, like the William > Wills thing, is entirely lacking in US
speech AFAIK, except among those who aspire to upper-class
Anglophilia.......;-))