wine-whine merger

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wine-whine merger (plural wine-whine mergers)

  1. (phonology) A merger in which [ʍ] (the voiceless sound heard at the beginning of the word whine in a Scottish accent or several accents in the United States) becomes [w] (the sound heard at the beginning of the word wine); in accents where this merger occurs, whine and wine are homophones.
    • 2016, Mark L. Louden, Pennsylvania Dutch: The Story of an American Language, page 228:
      As was the case with the wine–whine merger, date from the early twentieth century show that southeastern Pennsylvania was subject to patterns of variation in pronunciation.
    • 2019, Keiko Bridwell, “Previous Research on the Wine-Whine Merger”, in The Distribution of ʍ, page 7:
      Chambers (2002) graphs the trajectory of the wine-whine merger in four reigions preserving ʍ.
    • 2021, Zeyu Li, “The Distribution of /w/ and /ʍ/”, in Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory:
      In Scottish English, the so-called wine-whine merger did not take place, in which historical Old and Middle English /hw/ was replaced by /w/[.]

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