The end of wanna - how it is pronounced

Last changed 27 Feb 2006

Here's a brief (and growing) report on the answers I received to a query about how people pronounce the last vowel of wanna, and how this relates to their pronunciation of to in both infinitival (I try to eat ) and prepositional (I went to Egypt) contexts.

The crucial question is what happens before a vowel, because everyone has schwa before a consonant. The following patterns have emerged so far: (@ = schwa, with or without a glottal stop, u = some kind of rounded vowel or [w]; I = 'high schwa' or 'barred i').

1. Type 2. N 3. Where? 4. wanna eat 5. try to eat 6. went to Egypt
A 8 UK1 --- u u
B1 13 UK2, USA1, Australia1 u u u
B2 15 USA2, UK3, Australia2 @ @ @
B3 1 UK4 @~i @~i (no response)
B4 3* UK5 @r @r @r
B5 5 UK6 @~u @~u @~u
C1 1* UK7 @r u u
C2 4 Australia, UK8, USA3 @ u u
C3 3 UK9 @~u u u
C4 3 Canada, USA4, Australia3 @ @~u @~u
C5 1 USA5 @ I I
D1 1 UK10 u u @
D2 1 USA6 @ @ @~u
D3 1 UK11 @ @ u

Comments:

  • 1. Type: this classifies responses according to the distribution across columns 4-6:
    • A: no wanna
    • B: 4 = 5 = 6
    • C: 4 =/= 5 = 6
    • D: 4 = 5 =/= 6
  • 2. N: the number of responses received; * is a report on an entire community (e.g. Sheffield); total N = 62.
  • 3. Where? This is a very approximate indication of where the form is found. (I'll send you details if you're interested.)

If you can improve this list, please tell me!