There are very few place-names with initial Ch- [t∫-] in Scotland, Northern England and much of the East Midlands. Names that do exist are almost exclusively late formations and usually consist of French rather than Old English place-name elements. This article investigates the reasons why assibilation is either present or absent from specific areas and why. The results lead to a reassessment of several points, including: (1) the phonetic and phonological development of the voiceless velar in Early English in particular environments; (2) the extent to which external influence counteracted palatalization and assibilation in some areas; (3) the disparities between the place-name and dialectal evidence.
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