Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Jun 15 20:44:10 UTC 2002

>Nope, widepread among the few surviving wh/w distinguishers. I have
>the same rule.


>What is the origin of the interjection "why", as in "Why, you little
>rascal!", "Why, I'll be damned!", etc.?
>I just now realized that the pronunciation is different (in my background)
>from the interrogative "why" -- i.e., I would pronounce "why" in "Why me?"
>as /hwai/ but "why" in "Why, I'll be!" as /wai/ ... and surely at least
>many of my family and childhood friends would have done the same. Just a
>local peculiarity? Or a personal misconception?
>-- Doug Wilson

Dennis R. Preston
Professor of Linguistics
Department of Linguistics and Languages
740 Wells Hall A
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office - (517) 353-0740
Fax - (517) 432-2736

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