We characterise asymptotic behaviour of families of symmetric orthonormal polynomials whose recursion coefficients satisfy certain conditions, satisfied for example by the (normalised) Hermite polynomials. More generally, these conditions are satisfied by the recursion coefficients of the form c(n + 1)p for 0 < p < 1 and c > 0,
as well as by recursion coefficients which correspond to polynomials orthonormal with respect to the exponential weight w(x) = exp(−a|x|) for a > 1. We use these results to show that, in a Hilbert space defined in a natural way by
such a family of orthonormal polynomials, any two complex exponentials of the form exp(i f t) are mutually orthogonal whenever their frequencies f are distinct. We finally formulate a surprising conjecture for the corresponding families of non-symmetric orthonormal polynomials; extensive numerical tests indicate that such a conjecture appears to be true.