Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Thu Dec 14 15:33:41 UTC 2006

And they were all reduced in England before colonization, as far as I
know.  We have Wooster and Glouster in Ohio too, founded, I believe, by
early settlers from Old and New England for whom these were already reduced
in speech, and respelling followed pronunciation.  As I understand it, our
concern now is with recent, seemingly unexplainable, r-lessness in normally
r-ful speakers.

At 10:19 AM 12/14/2006, you wrote:
>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

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

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