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Thread: (h)while

  1. #1
    Verona_82 is online now Senior Member
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    (h)while

    Hello,

    I was very surprised when I clicked on the 'play' button:
    «while»


    I've never heard anyone pronounce /h/ before /wail/. Is it common?

    Thank you.

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    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Re: (h)while

    Thank you for the links!
    I was really flabbergasted. I was taught British English but I've never heard Americans say /hwail/ either in movies or on the radio.
    Live and learn
    Last edited by Verona_82; 09-Apr-2011 at 00:49. Reason: typos

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    Re: (h)while

    I'm having trouble finding examples. I'll try tomorrow if no one else does.

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    Re: (h)while

    It's common in Scottish and Irish English. It is not uncommon in England among older speakers, especially those from the 'higher social classes' and/or those educated at public schools*.

    I** find that I use /w/ in normal conversation, but /hw/ ([ʍ]) if I am delivering a formal presentation. This is probably a hangover from my days at school, when it was drummed into me that /hw/ was the 'correct' pronunciation.

    * 'public schools' in Britain are prestigious private schools.
    ** I am 65, from the south of England.
    Last edited by 5jj; 09-Apr-2011 at 21:47. Reason: explanatory addition - 'in Britain'.

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    Re: (h)while

    I've found a clear example: YouTube - Morgan Freeman On Black History Month (0:44 "white man").

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    Re: (h)while

    Thank you for the replies! They've been helpful, eye-opening and horizon-broadening! (if I can say so).

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    Re: (h)while

    I thought you might be interested in how this Singaporean native speaker pronounces "wh" and "w".

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    Re: (h)while

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I thought you might be interested in how this Singaporean native speaker pronounces "wh" and "w".

    Thank you, but my PC won't open the file

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    Re: (h)while

    Quote Originally Posted by Verona_82 View Post
    Thank you, but my PC won't open the file
    I'm not an expert and I don't know what program you're using, but there's certainly some info on the web on how to open .ogg files with your program.

    Anyway, in my opinion the man pronounces "w" with a slight biliabial friction and "wh" without it. But it's only what I hear, not what I know.

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