Date: Tue, 30 Jan 1996 11:38:24 CST
From: "Donald M. Lance" ENGDL[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]MIZZOU1.MISSOURI.EDU
Subject: Re: whoop
The w/hw variation in 'whoop' shouldn't be surprising -- i.e. the
"complexity" shouldn't be surprising. The spelling suggests an old
word that used to have /hw/ in everyone's English, and now just people
like Dennis Preston and me keep to the old tried and true.
Since the vowel is a back vowel, we should see the loss of /w/ in
some dialects (like the loss of /w/ in 'who') if not in all dialects.
I have /h/ in 'whooping cough' and 'war whoop' but /hw/ in 'to whoop
it up." Can't explain the latter. Also /h/ in 'whooping and hollering'.
Well, I can explain my patterns: my parents' usage. But why did they
keep the /w/ in 'whoop it up' but "lost" the /h/ in 'whoa' and "lost"
the /w/ in other uses of 'whoop'. My usage is strictly from oral tradition,
no booky spelling pronunciations, of course. DMLance