Date: Wed, 29 Nov 1995 11:30:13 -0500

From: "Suzanne Legault: English" E7E4LEG[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]TOE.TOWSON.EDU

Subject: Re: /w/ and /hw/

Subj: RE: /w/ and /hw/

So does anyone pronounce "who" as hwoo, or woo? How come "who" doesn't fit in

with the other wh words?

-- Jim

Maybe because of the [uw] diphthong--but that's a guess.* In OE "who" was

"hwa:, while "whole" was "ha:l"--incorrectly respelled to its present wh

(just like "whore"which is cognate with Lat. "cara" ), both of which are

reconstructed with an Indo-European *k.

If you want to see some REAL confusion, take a look at "whoop(ing)":

[h ~ w ~ hw].


*Nor have I heard, even from diehards who swear they have /hw/, "whose" with