Dropping the aitch from "human"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Tue Dec 19 18:58:06 UTC 2006

You've  bitten off a big chunk to chew on, Grant. My wife, from
Wilkes-Barre, PA,  deletes /h/ from /hj-/ clusters, as does my mother,
from Longview in East Texas. But my mother also deletes /h-/ before /^
O/, e.g. Hubert Humphrey = [jub at t ^mpfrI], "homage" = [Om at j]. I'm
pretty sure that _all_ Texans pronounce the name of the town of
Humble, Texas, as /^mbl/ and do the same with the adjective, "humble."

So, my wife, from NE PA, says: 'yuman, 'Yugh, 'yumor, 'yumid, etc.

My mother (and other Texans?) say: 'yuman, 'Yugh, 'yumor, 'yumid,
etc,. plus, at least, 'Umble, 'umble, 'Umpfrey, 'omage.

FWIW, my mother and other black East Texans (only?) pronounce
"yeast" as "eas(t)" [is(t)].


On 12/18/06, Grant Barrett <gbarrett at worldnewyork.org> wrote:
> ---------------------- Information from the mail header -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Grant Barrett <gbarrett at WORLDNEWYORK.ORG>
> Subject:      Dropping the aitch from "human"
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Can anyone offer insight into or sources covering the regions of the
> US where "h" is likely to be dropped at the beginning of words in
> which the "h" is typically pronounced in other regions? The classic
> example is the word "human."
> I'm not interested in discussions of just "herb," but words like
> human, humor, humid, hunger, hoot, hootenanny, hooter, hook, hush,
> hungry, humble, hundred, hunk, hunker, happy, handle, hanky, hanker
> and any others where the "h" is, or seems, likely to disappear in
> specific parts of the country.
> Journal articles or book recommendations welcomed. I don't have
> access to Labov et al's Atlas, though page-pointers are welcomed.
> Thanks, in any case.
> Grant Barrett
> http://www.doubletongued.org/
> editor at doubletongued.org
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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