English pronunciation: where

  • Thread starter fxdung
  • Start date
  • Tags
    English
In summary, the conversation discusses the pronunciation of the word "where", with one person hearing it as "w+schwa" and another hearing it as a homonym of "ware". The conversation also touches on the distinction between the pronunciations of "win" and "when", as well as "whale" and "wail/wale". It is suggested that many words in English starting with "wh" are of Germanic origin and were originally written as "hw".
  • #1
388
23
In this video that the link is below, there is a phrase: "where I spoke in Egypt" ,time is about 0:12. I hear "where" as "w+schwa".Is that correct or my ear hearing wrongly?
 
Science news on Phys.org
  • #2
Dunno, sounded normal to me.
I heard "where" as if a homonym of ware.
 
  • Like
Likes symbolipoint and pinball1970
  • #3
I heard wṛ (with vocalic r), typical American pronunciation. English pronunciation would be wεǝ.
You may have heard it as wǝr (I spoke), i.e. wǝ with an intrusive r between vowels, as in Laura Norder.
 
  • #4
DaveC426913 said:
I heard "where" as if a homonym of ware.
Some people pronounce "where" and "ware/wear" the same, but others don't. One online dictionary shows a phonetic representation of "where" as [(h)wer], and gives the etymology as Old English hwǣr, of Germanic origin.

In the same vein is the distinction between the pronunciations of "win" and "when." Many speakers pronounce these the same, but some others will pronounce "when" something like as if it were spelled "hwen."

Another example is how "whale" is sometimes pronounced differently from "wail" or "wale" (the latter as in "wide wale corduroy." This disparity in pronunciation is something I wondered about for a long time until I came across a dictionary definition of "whale" that included its etymology -- Old English hwæl, of Germanic origin.

My suspicion is that many words in English that start with "wh" are of Germanic origin and were actually written in Old English as "hw...".
 
  • Informative
Likes symbolipoint and berkeman
  • #5
1672244340763.png
 
  • #6
I could not hear much distinctly. "Where" was pronounced closely enough that nothing sounded strange; nothing unusual. Maybe the way he said was just less clear at that narrow moment.
 

Suggested for: English pronunciation: where

Replies
17
Views
1K
Replies
12
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
898
Replies
13
Views
986
Replies
1
Views
892
Replies
112
Views
5K
Replies
29
Views
1K
Replies
5
Views
1K
Replies
33
Views
2K
Back
Top