14.4 Longer words

English Notes
BSL Video

Longer words

If an English word is more than 4 letters long, it is usually abbreviated.  We can see the following:

The first syllable, eg -m-o-n-, -n-o-v-, -a-b- (Aberdeen).  Where the middle letter is a vowel, it will be reduced

The first and last letters, eg -g-w-, -b-l-, -g-d- (Glasgow, Bristol and Gateshead) 

The first letter from each syllable or (perceived) morpheme, eg -m-c-, -n-c-, -p-j- (Manchester, Newcastle, project)


The form of the manual letter is likely to be a part of deciding which abbreviation to use.  For example, if there is a vowel or an -s- at the end of the word, then the last letter often won't be used.  If the letter is symmetrical (eg -h- or -f-, -x- or -z-), it will be kept.


If there is word where the first letter is a vowel and the second letter is a consonant, or if the second letter is an -h- (eg ch, th, ph, sh) then the default is that the first two letters are kept.  This is particularly true where the first two letters are -e-x-, because there is no handshape change (eg "executive", "Exeter", "excuse", "example".) 


Again, the form of the manual letter is important here.  If the single manual letter uses -h- or -j-, there is rarely a repetition, because there is already movement in the letter, eg JUBILEE, HARRODS


"Double" Welsh letters such as "dd" and "ll" are treated as one, so that, for example Llandidrod Wells is reduced to -l-l-w-, not -l-w-.


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