Meaning of w



As this letter does not belong to the Spanish Alphabet it does not occur in Visayan literature previous to the American Occupation; "o" and "u" were generally used in its place. At the beginning of a syllable its correct pronunciation is almost identical with (or just a shade softer than) the "w" in English words as "wag, well, will, woe, would, etc.". At the end of a syllable after "a" it forms the diphtong "aw" (e.g. daw, táwtaw, sáwsaw, línaw) that is nearly equivalent to the English "ou" in "out, about, loud, etc.". At the end of a syllable after "e" or "i" its correct pronunciation is quite peculiar and can be learned only by hearing, e.g. bagéw, baréw, siríw, téwbew, etc. It is to be remarked that many Visayan words ending in "o" or "u" lose these vowels in some verbal forms and in terms derived from them and take the letter "w" instead, e.g. báywon, saláywan, gámwan, sápwan, kaburúywan, etc. (from bayó, salayó, gamó, sapó, buyó, etc.).