Dropping the aitch from "human"

Grant Barrett gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG
Tue Dec 19 02:20:01 UTC 2006

On Dec 18, 2006, at 19:38, Gordon, Matthew J. wrote:

> I think you need to differentiate h-dropping in 'human, humor,
> humid' etc. from the others. In these cases you have consonant
> cluster simplification /hj/ > /j/ which continues a long tradition
> in the history of English.

Good point.

> This flavor of h-dropping is associated with NY/NJ but I can't find
> a citation for that.

That's what one of my sources indicates (well, they non-expertly said
"East Coast") but I've found nothing.

> I checked Wells and found no mention of it. I'm 99% sure that it's
> not mentioned in Labov's Phonological Atlas.

The table of contents also seems to indicate that it's not covered

> I've never heard of the more general h-dropping of the English type
> in any American dialect.

That's what I'm hoping to prove or disprove, but I've now talked to
two people--one a linguist--who claim that they know people who drop
the aitch in front of "huge" and "human"--I added the other words to
my list in hopes of soliciting something besides hu-related responses.

Grant Barrett
editor at doubletongued.org

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

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