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Re: aspirated h

From:Scotto Hlad <scott.hlad@...>
Date:Sunday, July 20, 2008, 14:57
Thank you Tristan.

-----Original Message-----
From: Constructed Languages List [] On Behalf Of Tristan McLeay
Sent: Saturday, July 19, 2008 10:43 PM
Subject: Re: aspirated h

On 20.07.2008 13:58:51 Scotto Hlad wrote:
> I’m trying to better understand aspiration. I know that French refers > to an h aspirante at the beginning of a word where the article is > separated from the noun. An example of this is “le hautbois” as > opposed to “l’hautbois”. Pilovese has a verb “behar”. The h is never > pronounced in Pilovese so the word is pronounced []. There is a > definite break between the e and the a but not an audible sound. Is > this an aspirated h as well?
The term "h aspirante" is a non-linguistic term specific to discussions of the French language. So basically no. "Aspiration" is just the voiceless puff of breath that makes up the (pronounced) /h/ sound in English in words like "high" or that comes straight after the English stops/affricates /p t tS k/ at the beginning of words (and in other positions). Aspiration is a voiceless part of a vowel that acts as a consonant or a part of a consonant. It is important that it is voiceless. The French "h aspirante" is a term that refers to an earlier stage of the French language. Nowadays, both the "mute" and "aspirated" h are silent. Like English so-called long and short vowels, the French have just kept an earlier term that once made sense on its own, but is now historical. The correct term for when you have two separate vowels next to each other is "hiatus". In French hiatus is allowed more often before a word beginning with a h aspirante than a h mute. Lots of languages try to avoid hiatus --- and historical but not contemporary French was one of them. At the time French avoided hiatus, h aspirante was presumably aspirated. So in Pilovese you've always got a silent h. Then all that is is a silent h. Unless you've got two types of silent h like in French, there's no particular reason to call it aspirated, and I'd just call it a h and say it marks hiatus/it's one way to mark hiatus. Hope this helps! -- Tristan.