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We have a number of posts about the pronunciation of "h" and this one Do any dialects of Spanish still pronounce "h"? refers to the entry in the DLE for "h"

  1. f. Octava letra del abecedario español, que en la lengua estándar actual no representa sonido alguno, si bien se aspira en determinadas voces de origen extranjero, como hámster o dírham, y en algunas zonas españolas y americanas como rasgo dialectal.

Although the word alcohol is derived from the Arabic I hardly think it can count as a foreign loan word anymore. If the "h" is not pronounced are both "o" sounds pronounced or just one? Is the same allophone used for both https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_phonology#Allophones ?

My curiosity about this was raised by opening the beer can and seeing that, if we ignore English, two of the four remaining languages drop the "h" (French and Portuguese) while two retain it (Spanish and what I take to be Catalan cervesa sense alcohol)

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    Con ojo de baharí quieres aprehender el uso de la h y anihilar la ignorancia, aquí va la respuesta cual cohete para que vayas a la almohada sabiendo algo más, la palabra alcohol se pronuncia "alcool". Al menos en el español de España, la h es muda en esa y en todas las palabras de este comentario. :-) – Charlie Oct 30 '20 at 13:51
  • yes, cervesa sense alcohol is Catalan. By the way, did you know that it is quite common in Spain to call the beer birra, as in Italian, in colloquial contexts? (well, and many other variants). – fedorqui 'SO stop harming' Oct 30 '20 at 14:22
  • @Charlie I almost asked if there were any other similar examples but you seem to have read my mind. – mdewey Oct 30 '20 at 17:25
  • @fedorqui'SOstopharming' since the brewery claims to be in Barcelona it seemed a safe guess. I have not had occasion to visit Spain since I gave up alcohol in beer (but not wine) so my new knowledge is going to have to wait. – mdewey Oct 30 '20 at 17:28
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    The pronunciation or not of the h is not what makes it or does not make it a loan word. It's a loan word if it is a loan word, as seen in dictionaries. And pronunciations vary over time, anyway. – Lambie Oct 30 '20 at 20:07
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In Chilean Spanish the 'h' is not pronounced and as far as pronunciation is concerned, there's only one 'o'.

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To pull together the information in comments.

@Charlie provided a list of other Spanish words with vowel-h-vowel and confirmed that "Con ojo de baharí quieres aprehender el uso de la h y anihilar la ignorancia, aquí va la respuesta cual cohete para que vayas a la almohada sabiendo algo más, la palabra alcohol se pronuncia "alcool". Al menos en el español de España, la h es muda en esa y en todas las palabras de este comentario"

In response to @wimi's query " en tu zona se dice "/alcool/" con las dos "o"? Yo siempre he dicho y oído "/alcol/", pronunciando solo una "o"" he confirmed that the two o sounds were usually elided into one.

@MauricioConteras stated that in Venezuela "we pronounce te word Alcohol as Alcól (note the accent). No double o, just emphasis on one single o."

And for completeness PiKindOfGuy in an answer agreed that "In Chilean Spanish the 'h' is not pronounced and as far as pronunciation is concerned, there's only one 'o'."

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"h" is generally silent in most dialects of Spanish (and in the rare dialects where it is pronounced, it is only pronounced in certain Latinate words).

Hence, as you suspect, the sequence "oho" is nominally pronounced identically to "oo"; however such sequences are normally contracted to "o" in normal speech (or a slightly longer/more stressed "o"). This is evident in the orthography of some dialects, e.g:

ALCOL, m. Barbarismo por alcohol. (Colomb. y P. Rico).

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  • Are there Spanish words with "oo"? I assume you mean that it's pronounced "o'o", where the apostrophe denotes a glottal stop. To an English speaker, "oo" represents a single vowel sound, not a repeated vowel sound. – Acccumulation Dec 28 '20 at 7:11
  • @Acccumulation yes there are many Spanish words containing "oo". I meant it's pronounced as "oo" is in Spanish. – jacobo Dec 28 '20 at 10:45

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