THE CONSONANT "W"

/w/

SOURCE: Germanic */w/; OE /g/ [See "Vocalizing of Velar Fricative" .]

Voiced bilabial semivowel, with raising of back of tongue toward velum

The consonant /w/ has been stable from OE through PDE.

CONSONANT
OE /w/
ME /w/
EME /w/
PDE /w/
SPELLING
w
w, wh, qu
w, wh
w, wh
EXAMPLE
wæter
water
water
water

SOUND

CHANGES AFFECTING /w/

ME /w/

Loss in consonant clusters

EME /w/

Loss before /r/ in initial position