Dennis R. Preston
preston at PILOT.MSU.EDU
Sun Jun 16 12:35:57 UTC 2002
>AHA! Your nonvernacular has rared up and bit you!
>The usage of "why" as in "Why, I'll be" feels to me to be something I
>learned later in life, maybe even from books. That might be why I don't
>make the distinction.
>>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.
>>>>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
>>>professional website: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/math/wells/home.html
>>>personal website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/index.html
>>>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
>professional website: http://www.cwru.edu/artsci/math/wells/home.html
>personal website: http://www.oberlin.net/~cwells/index.html
>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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