Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Dec 14 15:19:16 UTC 2006

At 9:40 AM -0500 12/14/06, Charles Doyle wrote:
>Of course, strange and irregular things can happen in the
>phonological evolution of proper names, but I'm thinking of

Worcester.  Then there's Leicester ("Lester"), Gloucester
("Gloster"), and so on.  (All involving "-cester" = 'castle'.  These
don't involve r-lessness in any obvious way, although of course
non-rhotic speakers will get "Lesta" (or the like) rather than

>  often pronounced and spelled "Wooster."  "Doster" is a common
>surname in north Georgia.  I assume the surname "Foster" comes from
>"forester" ("forester" sometimes appears disyllabically in
>16th-century verse).  Perhaps these changes correlate with
>r-lessness in various stages or dialects of the language--I don't


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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