#4933. wh の発音[pronunciation][spelling][phonetics][phonology][phoneme][ame_bre][digraph][consonant]


 <wh> という2重字 (digraph) は疑問詞のような高頻度語に現われるので馴染み深い.しかし,この2重字に対応する発音についてよく理解している英語学習者は多くない.
 what, which を「ホワット」「フィッチ」とカタカナ書きしたり発音したりする人は多いかもしれないが,イギリス標準英語においては「ワット」「ウィッチ」である.つまり,Watt, witch とまったく同じ発音となる.音声学的にいえば無声の [ʍ] ではなく,あくまで有声の [w] ということだ.
 上記はイギリス標準英語の話しであり,アメリカ英語はその限りではなく what, which は各々 [ʍɑt], [ʍɪtʃ] が規範的といわれることもある.しかし,実際上は有声の [w] での発音が広まってきているようだ.
 <wh> の表わす子音の現状について Cruttenden を参照してみよう.

In CGB (= Conspicuous General British) and in GB speech in a more formal style (e.g. in verse-speaking), words such as when are pronounced with the voiceless labial-velar fricative [ʍ]. In such speech, which contains oppositions of the kind wine, whine, . . . /ʍ/ has phonemic status. Among GB speakers the use of /ʍ/ as a phoneme has declined rapidly. Even if /ʍ/ does occur distinctively in any idiolect, it may nevertheless be interpreted phonemically as /h/ + /w/ . . . . (Cruttenden 233)

 ちなみに上記引用文中の "CGB (= Conspicuous General British)" は Cruttenden (81) によると,"that type of GB which is commonly considered to be 'posh', to be associated with upper-class families, with public schools and with professions which have traditionally recruited from such families, e.g. officers in the navy and in some army regiments" とされる.いわゆる "RP" (= Received Pronunciation) に近いものと捉えてよいが,様々な理由から RP と呼ぶべきでないという立場があり,このような用語遣いをしているのである.

The only regional variation concerns the more regular use of [ʍ] in words with <wh> in the spelling. This happens in Standard Scottish English, in most varieties of Irish English and is often presented as the norm in the U.S., although the change from [ʍ] to /w/ seems to be more common than is thought by some. (Cruttenden 234)

 手元にあった Longman Pronunciation Dictionary (3rd ed.) の "wh Spelling-to-sound" も覗いてみた.

Where the spelling is the digraph wh, the pronunciation in most cases is w, as in white waɪt. An alternative pronunciation, depending on regional, social and stylistic factors, is hw, thus hwaɪt. This h pronunciation is usual in Scottish and Irish English, and decreasingly so in AmE, but not otherwise. (Among those who pronounce simple w, the pronunciation with hw tends to be considered 'better', and so is used by some people in formal styles only.) Learners of EFL are recommended to use plain w.

 引用の最後にある通り,私たち英語学習者は一般に <wh> ≡ /w/ と理解しておいてさしつかえないだろう.
 <wh> と関連して「#3870. 中英語の北部方言における wh- ならぬ q- の綴字」 ([2019-12-01-1]),「#3871. スコットランド英語において wh- ではなく quh- の綴字を擁護した Alexander Hume」 ([2019-12-02-1]) の記事も参照.

 ・ Cruttenden, Alan. Gimson's Pronunciation of English. 8th ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.
 ・ Wells, J C. ed. Longman Pronunciation Dictionary. 3rd ed. Harlow: Pearson Education, 2008.

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