The Sussex Dialect. 7
abbreviated, or why certain short words are expanded. In some names of places every syllable, and even every letter, is made the most of—as East Hoadlye for East Hoathly—while others, like the name of my own village, are abruptly curtailed from three syllables to two by the most ruthless excision.
As far as I can reduce the pronunciation of the Sussex people to anything like a system it is this,—
a before double d becomes ar; whereby ladder and adder are pronounced larder and arder.
a before double l is pronounced like o; fallow and tallow become foller and toller.
a before t is expanded into ea; rate, mate, plate, gate, are pronounced reat, meat, pleat, geat.
a before ct becomes e; as satisfection for satisfaction.
e before ct becomes a; and affection, effect and neglect are pronounced affaction, effact and neglact.
Double e is pronounced as i in such words as sheep, week, called ship and wick; and the sound of double e follows the same rule in fild for field.
Having pronounced ee as i, the Sussex people in the most impartial manner pronounce i as ee, and thus mice, hive, dive, become meece, heeve and deeve.
i becomes e in pet for pit, spet for spit, and similar words.
to and oi change places respectively; and violet and violent become voilet and voilent, while boiled and spoiled are bioled and spioled.
o before n is expanded into oa in such words as pony, dont, bone; which are pronounced pdany, doant, and boan.
o before r is pronounced as a; as earn and marning, for corn and morning.
o also becomes a in such words as rad, crass, and crap, for rod, cross, and crop.
ou is elongated into aou in words like hound, pound and mound; pronounced haound, paound and maound.
The final ow, as in many other counties, is pronounced er, as foller for fallow.