9

It occurred to me the other day that if ハ行転呼 had affected all applicable environments without exception, 母 /haha/ (or I guess properly it was /ɸaɸa/, right?)should have become /hawa/.

The Japanese wiki page for ハ行転呼 makes note of this and kind of handwaves it away by saying it's thought the relationship between 父/爺 and 母/婆 influenced 母 enough to keep its pronunciation from undergoing ハ行転呼, but there's no citation and it kinda just sounds to me like a "we have no clue" answer.

特殊な例として「はは」(母)のように一旦「はわ」に変化したのち、再び「はは」に戻ったものもある。これは「ちち」(父)、「ぢぢ」(爺)に対応する「はは」(母)、「ばば」(婆)の体系を維持しようとして引き起こされた変化と考えられる。

It does say 「一旦『はわ』に変化したのち」, so /haha/ (/ɸaɸa/?) did become /hawa/ before changing (back?) to /haha/. Is this maybe a case of spelling pronunciation or a conscious effort on (educated?) speakers' part to pronounce 母 in a deliberate, different way? I'm thinking like how some English speakers pronounce the "t" in often both because of its spelling and relationship to oft.

Since I couldn't find citations or sources, I guess my question is basically: Did 母 undergo ハ行転呼 and then change (back) to /haha/? Or was it an exception to the rule from the get-go?

(And now that I'm thinking about it, I wonder if there are dialects that pronounce it /hawa/, or if there were until relatively recently.)

7

Did 母 undergo ハ行転呼 and then change (back) to /haha/?

Yes, it did become hawa (or rather ɸawa) before changing back. You may find citations here.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.