A Dictionary Of The Sussex Dialect - online book

A Collection Of Provincialisms In Use In The County Of Sussex.

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The Sussex Dialect.
The peculiarities with regard to the pronunciation of consonants are not so numerous as those of the vowels, but they are very decided and seem to admit of less variation.
Double t is always pronounced as d; as liddle for little, &c, and the th is invariably d; thus the becomes de; and these, them, theirs—dese, dem and deres.
d in its turn is occasionally changed into th; as in fother for fodder.
The final ps in such words as wasp, clasp, and hasp are reversed to wapse, elapse and hapse.
Words ending in st have the addition of a syllable in the possessive case and the plural, and instead of saying "that some little birds had built their nests near the posts of Mr. West's gate," a Sussex boy would say "the birds had built their nestes near the postes of Mr. Westes' gate."
Thus I have tried as nearly as possible to define the rules of Sussex pronunciation—there are so many exceptions to all the rules that they can scarcely be called rules at all; but with regard to one letter a rule can be given which admits of no exception. The letter h is never by any chance used in its right place; and any one who has ever attempted to teach a Sussex child to read, must be convinced that nothing short of a surgical operation could ever introduce a correct pronunciation of the aspirate into his system.
I may here state that I have endeavoured to spell the words in this dictionary as nearly as possible as I have heard them pro­nounced ; but in the examples of Sussex conversation, &c, I have not attempted to follow out the exact pronunciation of the shorter words, because if I had done so, I should probably have rendered them incomprehensible to many of my readers and tiresome to all.
It now remains for me to state the principle upon which I have selected certain words for my dictionary, to the exclusion of others which have been given in the glossaries of Ray, Cooper, Halliwell and Holloway, as Sussex words,
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