Good summary! Just one question (to you and anyone else who might know): in the States, do you or did you ever refer to a police vehicle (for transporting suspects, prisoners etc) as a Black Maria
? In that phrase, which must be quite elderly by now as they most assuredly aren't black any more, Maria
has its -eye- sound with no need for an H. And in South Africa
- perhaps elsewhere - it's fashionable among Black namers to put an H on the end of just about any female name that ends in A. So we see Dianah, Annah, Vinoliah, Emmah and so on. No pronunciation issues at all; probably a generalisation from biblical names like Hannah
Vinoliah is a particular favourite of mine: there's a brand of soap here called Vinolia, and parents might be responding to its "exclusive" image ...
As for Linniva, I was at school with someone whose sister was Lynneve; I always liked it and assumed it was an inside-out version of Evelyn
; now I'm starting to wonder!