Dennis R. Preston preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sat Jun 15 22:54:52 UTC 2002


You are the first southerner (who apparently had the hw/w
distinction) who has reported this in my experience (and I have been
citing this /hw/ for why? /w/ for why! for some time). Unless I get
more testimonials, I fear I will have to consider it an idiosyncrasy
(no shame to you or yours I hope).


>I say /hwai/ for both uses.  I am a native of Atlanta born in 1937 and
>raised in Georgia until I was 18.
>--Charles Wells
>>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
>Charles Wells
>professional website: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/math/wells/home.html
>personal website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/index.html
>genealogical website:
>NE Ohio Sacred Harp website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/sh.htm

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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