r --> z

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at YAHOO.COM
Mon Jul 10 17:19:47 UTC 2006

Not only is there a /z/ in Lynne's exx., all endings are replaced with /a/.

  There is no U.S. *Chazza, for ex., that I'm aware of.


Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU> wrote:
  ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
Sender: American Dialect Society
Poster: Laurence Horn
Subject: Re: r --> z

>In American English, Charleses are sometimes called "Chaz," but I've
>always assumed that that nickname is based on the orthographic
>abbreviation "Chas."
There's also "Babs" < "Barbara". But neither of these has a /z/
occurring intervocalically; I assume the British rule below has to do
with the flap version of /r/ practiced trans- but not cis-pondally.


>---- Original message ----
>>Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2006 16:10:04 +0100
>>From: Lynne Murphy
>>Subject: r --> z
>>Is it common for /r/ to change to [z]?
>>I'm wondering about a set of UK/Australian nicknames:
>>Barry --> Bazza
>>Sharon/Sharapova --> Shazza (also Shazzer)
>>Maurice --> Mozza (and more famously, Morrissey-->Mozza)
>>Boris --> Bozza
>>Charles/Charlotte --> Chazza
>>Antony Worrall Thompson --> Wozza
>>Gary --> Gazza
>>Cheryl/Cherie/Sheryl --> Chezza/Shezza
>>(stole several of these from the Wikipedia article on 'Zza
>>Other famous ones involve some kind of sibilant at the start of the
>>reduced syllable:
>>Heseltine --> Hezza
>>Prescott --> Prezza
>>Gascoigne --> Gazza
>>The only one in the Wikipedia article that doesn't follow one of
>>these patterns was Gavin-->Gazza, but we can assume that he's only
>>Gazza because he was dating a Chazza.
>>Any explanation for why -zza would be what the r-starting syllable
>>would be 'weakened' to? (I'm obviously no phonetician, though I
>>have played one in first-year lectures.) I suppose the tongue is
>>in the same neighbourhood and both r and z are voiced, but do
>>similar things happen in other contexts?
>The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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