Larry Trask larryt at cogs.susx.ac.uk
Thu Feb 4 09:21:52 UTC 1999

On Tue, 2 Feb 1999 ERobert52 at aol.com wrote:

> BTW, Larry Trask is exaggerating to say /hw/ is dead in England. I
> visit England frequently and still occasionally hear it from native
> English people. My wife, who is English, reports that her mother
> told her as a child that not saying /hw/ was sloppy.  My wife has
> retained /hw/, but her mother has now moved to /w/.

Very interesting.  Whenever I hear somebody with an English accent using
[hw-], I immediately think "You're Scottish!"  In fact, I did this
yesterday.  I got a phone call from a distinguished archaeologist with
an impeccable upper-class English accent -- and he used [hw-].  So I
said "I've just realized you're Scottish", and he was.

I know that a few people in England retain [hw-] as a kind of personal
idiosyncrasy.  But I'll have a look at John Wells's Accents of English
later to see if Wells recognizes [hw-] anywhere in England.

Right now, gotta teach.

Larry Trask
University of Sussex
Brighton BN1 9QH

larryt at cogs.susx.ac.uk

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