[hw-] v. [w]

Dennis Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Tue Jul 31 16:46:46 UTC 2007

I have plenty of acoustic samples of /hw/ versus /w/ users; there is
no evidence whatsoever of a vocalic segment before the /w/ (which is
itself voiceless by the way; furthter evidence that it is not


>---------------------- Information from the mail header
>Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>Poster:       James Smith <jsmithjamessmith at YAHOO.COM>
>Subject:      Re: [hw-] v. [w]
>I still contend it is -wh- , not -hw-, the -w- being a
>vowel (hence its name, double u), unstressed, often
>unvoiced, before the -h-.  Being a native Utahn and
>Utah resident for 90% of my life (so far), it should
>be intersting to read David's research on this.  [I do
>not put an -h- in -weird-, there is no -h- in -weird-,
>it's pronounced (ou)eared.]
>--- David Bowie <db.list at PMPKN.NET> wrote:
>>  From:    Wilson Gray <hwgray at GMAIL.COM>
>>  > Tonight, on a TV cartoon show, "Family Man," I
>>  think that it was, the
>>  > characters kicked around the [hw-] v. lw]
>>  pronunciations, with one of
>>  > the [hw-]-speaking characters jokingly noting
>>  that, e.g. [wip] in
>>  > place of [hwip] sounded "wheird" [hwird].
>>  > [wip] in place of [hwip] doesn't sound "wheird,"
>>  but it does sound
>>  > weird. Well not really, though I'm a [hw-]
>>  speaker.
>>  It makes sense that Stewie would use the hw, though,
>>  since that's
>>  apparently marked now in American English, and his
>>  speech is nothing if
>>  not marked.
>>  When this episode first aired, i was in the middle
>>  of finishing up my
>>  part of my ADS paper presentation which dealt with
>>  <ta-da!> (h)w in
>>  Utah. The timing was very hweird.
>>  --
>>  David Bowie                               University
>>  of Central Florida
>>       Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no
>>  chocolate in the
>>       house, there is too little; some must be
>>  purchased. If there is
>>       chocolate in the house, there is too much; it
>>  must be consumed.
>>  The American Dialect Society -
>>  http://www.americandialect.org
>James D. SMITH                 |If history teaches anything
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>jsmithjamessmith at yahoo.com     |whether we act quickly and decisively
>                                |or slowly and cautiously.
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Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of English
Morrill Hall 15-C
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48864 USA

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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