Based on the award winning stand-up of writer and star, Ivan Aristeguieta, Lost in Pronunciation follows the arrival in Australia of a Venezuelan comedian, Ivan, whose heart is set on breaking into the local comedy scene.
Runtime: 10 minutes
Lost in Pronunciation - Pronunciation of English ⟨wh⟩ - Netflix
The pronunciation of the digraph ⟨wh⟩ in English has changed over time, and still varies today between different regions and accents. 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/, generally realized as [ʍ], a voiceless “w” sound. The process by which the historical /hw/ has become /w/ in most modern varieties of English is called the wine–whine merger. It is also referred to as glide cluster reduction. Before rounded vowels, a different reduction process took place in Middle English, as a result of which the ⟨wh⟩ in words like who and whom is now pronounced /h/. (A similar sound change occurred earlier in the word how.)
Lost in Pronunciation - Pronunciations and phonological analysis of the distinct wh sound - Netflix
As mentioned above, the sound of initial ⟨wh⟩, when distinguished from plain ⟨w⟩, is often pronounced as a voiceless labio-velar approximant [ʍ], a voiceless version of the ordinary [w] sound. In some accents, however, the pronunciation is more like [hʍ], and in some Scottish dialects it may be closer to [xʍ] or [kʍ] – the [ʍ] sound preceded by a voiceless velar fricative or stop. (In other places the /kw/ of qu- words is reduced to [ʍ].) In the Black Isle, the /hw/ (like /h/ generally) is traditionally not pronounced at all. Pronunciations of the [xʍ] or [kʍ] type are reflected in the former Scots spelling quh- (as in quhen for when, etc.). In some dialects of Scots, the sequence /hw/ has merged with the voiceless labiodental fricative /f/. Thus whit (“what”) is pronounced /fɪt/, whan (“when”) becomes /fan/, and whine becomes /fain/ (a homophone of fine). This is also found in some Irish English with an Irish Gaelic substrate influence (something which has led to an interesting re-borrowing of whisk(e)y as Irish Gaelic fuisce, the word having originally entered English from Scottish Gaelic). Phonologically, the distinct sound of ⟨wh⟩ is often analyzed as the consonant cluster /hw/, and it is transcribed so in most dictionaries. When it has the pronunciation [ʍ], however, it may also be analyzed as a single phoneme, /ʍ/.