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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