Back to "why", "why"

Rudolph C Troike rtroike at U.ARIZONA.EDU
Tue Jun 18 05:03:11 UTC 2002

Charles will be pleased that I found, in surveying the Southerners in our
department, that our two Georgians both claim (I didn't check it out
personally) to pronounce both interrogative and exclamatory "why" with
/hw/, though one has a monophthong [footnote: Beverly, this is what Jim
Sledd long ago called the "Confederate vowel"; you can get a nice minimal
pair contrast with "Tam", "time", "Tom" for some Texas speakers -- this
probably wouldn't work so nicely in Georgia, where "Tom" is more likely to
have a back rounded vowel)] in the interrogative, and a diphthong in the

        One north Alabama speaker and one north Texas speaker did make the
/hw/:/w/ contrast that dInIs attests, and I checked with my mother (98),
from East Texas, and found that she also makes the distinction, giving it
some time depth.


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