The main railway station in Edinburgh is named after the first of Walter Scott’s novels, which he published anonymously. The pronunciation known to everyone and contradicted nowhere is /ˈweɪvərli/, but is this really what Scott intended?
There are certain characters whose dialogue is rendered in a – fairly inconsistent – attempt at Scots. Most of them are portrayed as saying Waverley without any indication of what vowel sound they are using in the stressed syllable. Two, however – Bailie Macwheeble and Janet Gellatley – regularly pronounce the name “Wauverley”.
Is this an attempt to imitate a broad Scots version of a different pronunciation from the one we all know? Did Scott think of his hero as being pronounced /ˈwævərli/, or /ˈwɑːvərli/ (which in many Scots accents are neutralized)? Or alternatively /ˈwɒvərli/, which could then be rendered as ‘Wauverley’, /ɒ/ and /ɔː/ being also neutralized for many Scots.
Just a thought.