Date: Fri, 1 Dec 1995 08:38:54 -0500

From: "Dennis R. Preston" preston[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]PILOT.MSU.EDU

Subject: Re: /w/ and /hw/

Of course. We just forgot our HistEng info. While we are on this, would

somebody who has the HistEng stuff at their fingertips explain why there

are both [u] and [o] pronunciations of 'whore' in ModAmerEng? Bill's note

below explains why 'whore' is not [wo:r] or [hwo:r], but why did the Great

Vowel Shift apparently shift twice for some speakers. (In the US, I have

heard [hu:r] only in Northern and NorthEastern varieties.)

Dennis Preston


Why isn't "who" pronounced [wu:] or [hwu:]? Because a Middle Endlish to

Modern English change deleted [w] between a consonant and a back vowel, for

example, "two" is [tu:] and "sword" is [sord]. Without analogical leveling,

the past tense of "swear" would be "sore".

Bill Smith

Piedmont College