Back to "why", "why"

Dickie Heaberlin Heaberlin at SWT.EDU
Tue Jun 18 17:59:12 UTC 2002

This south Texan contrasts /hw/ and /w/ in the two "why"s.

Dickie M. Heaberlin

Rudolph C Troike wrote:

> 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
> exclamatory.
>         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.
>         Rudy

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