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Skippy

How you pronounce "wh"

"Wh" pronunciation   

43 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you usually pronounce "wh" (as in what) as /hw/?

    • Yes
      13
    • No
      31


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There probably won't be a lot of discussion for this topic. But we are on this chapter in spelling, and I was curious. Do you personally usually pronounce "wh" as /hw/ with a word such as "what"? 

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1 minute ago, alisoncooks said:

I do during school time. ?

During normal conversation, probably not as much. 

: )

I think just about the only time I ever do is when it is mentioned by the spelling book that this is the way it is supposed to be pronounced. 

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For me it depends on the word.

What is wut

Where can be hwer or wer

When is hwen

Who is huu

Why is wy unless I am being particularly emphatic and then it is hwy?!

Which is witch ?

Whistle is wissle

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We are using an old spelling book that makes the assumption what you use the hw pronunciation.  I talked to the kiddo's speech therapist, who teaches at State U, and she said that they don't teach that pronunciation to speech therapists any more,  I think it falls into the category of sounds that they don't try to get rid of, but don't try to correct, either...they probably treat it similarly to an accent.  

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I’ve never heard it pronounced that way. What part of the country does that pronunciation originate? I assume it’s an older way of pronouncing the sound.

I can’t even figure out how ‘what’ could be pronounced with an h sound first, with a long a yes. I assume it’s a subtle sound but I can’t make it, kind of like I can’t roll an r.

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My grandma has been gone many years, but this thread reminded me that she pronounced the word white as hwhite. I've never heard anyone else use the hw sound like that.

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Yes, I think I do.  However, I don't think the hw sound really sounds like hw - it's more like it's almost an hw.  What it isn't is a w.

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6 hours ago, alisoncooks said:

I do during school time. ?

During normal conversation, probably not as much. 

Same!

My grandparents really did pronounce "w" and "wh" differently in their usual speech.   I don't hear it with my generation.

 

 

Edited by wathe
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My grandmother used the hw and was taught it at school (NZ).  I use w or f (Maori words).

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8 hours ago, Skippy said:

There probably won't be a lot of discussion for this topic. But we are on this chapter in spelling, and I was curious. Do you personally usually pronounce "wh" as /hw/ with a word such as "what"? 

Yes. Always. I was surprised to find out that some people don't. o_0

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I do, sort of halfway.  You can definitely hear the "h" though I am not consciously trying to pronounce it.

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I had no idea this was a thing until starting our spelling program several years ago. I only do it when we "think to spell". I remember listening to an audio book and hearing the narrator do this when discussing Whigs. It was so amazing to hear someone use it in "normal speech" although I was convinced it was just how that particular word was pronounced vs. how most wh words were pronounced by a small sub-set of people.

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Yes, I use the aspirated h sound.

Not being a native speaker, this was not something our school English teachers, who never had a chance for contact with native speakers, taught us. I learned it from my voice teacher in the US.

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12 hours ago, Rachel said:

What part of the country does that pronunciation originate?

220px-Hw-w_merger.svg.png

Here is a map hwhich supposedly shows hwhere people are more likely to use the /hw/ pronunciation.  : )

"It is now most commonly pronounced /w/, the same as a plain initial 〈w〉, although some dialects, particularly those of Scotland, Ireland, and the Southern United States, retain the traditional pronunciation /hw/."

"The sound was used in Gothic and represented by the symbol known as hwair; in Old English it was spelled as 〈hw〉."

from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronunciation_of_English_〈wh〉

Edited by Skippy
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I pronounce the /hw/ sound. My husband thinks it's hilarious and is always telling me I'm saying those words incorrectly. I'm totally showing him this thread!

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2 hours ago, Skippy said:

220px-Hw-w_merger.svg.png

Here is a map hwhich supposedly shows hwhere people are more likely to use the /hw/ pronunciation.  : )

"It is now most commonly pronounced /w/, the same as a plain initial 〈w〉, although some dialects, particularly those of Scotland, Ireland, and the Southern United States, retain the traditional pronunciation /hw/."

"The sound was used in Gothic and represented by the symbol known as hwair; in Old English it was spelled as 〈hw〉."

from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronunciation_of_English_〈wh〉

 

Well, I guess that is why I hear it here, we are pretty heavily Scottish and Irish.

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I didn't use to. Then i took an Orton Gillingham class. Now I over use it... replace w with wh in other words. All of my in laws use it correctly.

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26 minutes ago, countrymum said:

I didn't use to. Then i took an Orton Gillingham class. Now I over use it... replace w with wh in other words. All of my in laws use it correctly.

I never used it until I used Lindamood Phoneme Sequencing with my kids. Now I over-enunciate wh words to an annoying extreme. Lol

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On 10/31/2018 at 11:59 PM, Ellie said:

Yes. Always. I was surprised to find out that some people don't. o_0

 

So most other people in your geographic region must pronounce them hw - are you in a fairly isolated area geographically?  The only place in the US I haven't been is the southeast, so maybe there.

I've never heard it pronounced regularly by most people, anywhere.

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I've only known one person in my entire life who pronounced "what" beginning with "h."  It made such an impression on me.  I loved the way it sounded -- so classy!  But I always wondered about it.

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I do and don't really stand out for it in this area (Atlanta-ish), but it's not universal. Other places I've gone, I've been told "you must be an English teacher" due to that pronunciation. 

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7 hours ago, moonflower said:

So most other people in your geographic region must pronounce them hw - are you in a fairly isolated area geographically?  The only place in the US I haven't been is the southeast, so maybe there.

I've never heard it pronounced regularly by most people, anywhere.

I live near Austin, Texas; before that I lived in San Jose, California, and then San Diego, California, and then Norfolk, Virginia. So, no, not isolated geographically. :-)

I think I mostly don't notice how other people say it, so the first time I had this conversation on the Internet, ages ago, I was just surprised. Also, I've been teaching Spalding for over 30 years, and "wh" is one of the phonograms; Mrs. Spalding suggests having the children hold their hands up to their mouths so they can feel their breath when they say "wh." Correct pronunciation helps with correct spelling. :-)

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I do, but subtly. There is a difference between wh and w when I say it, but not a great deal.  I try to pronounce it a bit more distinctly when reading aloud to my kids.  There are also a few words I am more intentional about pronouncing the sound with, such as whale, white, and whittle.

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I do.  I grew up in Maryland, but my mother is from the "purple zone" (albeit near the border), and she was my pronunciation mentor.  Had it not been for her, I might have called crayons "crowns" like my friend down the street.  I shudder to think of it.  My /hw/ is subtle, and I had not given it much thought until now.  It was not an issue that was stressed in my family.

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I think in every day speech, I probably rush over the sound and don't really say /hw/ much. However, when I am teaching reading and spelling I do (and was taught that way too.)

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Another person who doesn't pronounce it in regular speech... and then over-pronounces it during spelling lessons, to ask if the student can "hear the difference??" ?

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On 11/2/2018 at 7:43 AM, Ellie said:

I live near Austin, Texas; before that I lived in San Jose, California, and then San Diego, California, and then Norfolk, Virginia. So, no, not isolated geographically. :-)

I think I mostly don't notice how other people say it, so the first time I had this conversation on the Internet, ages ago, I was just surprised. Also, I've been teaching Spalding for over 30 years, and "wh" is one of the phonograms; Mrs. Spalding suggests having the children hold their hands up to their mouths so they can feel their breath when they say "wh." Correct pronunciation helps with correct spelling. :-)

Except hw isnt correct pronunciation for wh in most of the English speaking world anymore than "k"n is correct for knife and other kn words. 

We definitely tend to hear what our brain expects though. Sounds come in our ears but get processed and interpreted by our brains.

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On 11/1/2018 at 6:41 PM, countrymum said:

I didn't use to. Then i took an Orton Gillingham class. Now I over use it... replace w with wh in other words. All of my in laws use it correctly.

Not "correctly."

Regional pronunciations are just that, regional. None is more correct than any other.

Edited by maize

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