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Re: That pesky H again (was: varia)

From:Eric Christopherson <raccoon@...>
Date:Monday, February 7, 2000, 4:41
On Fri, 4 Feb 2000 20:27:47 +0100, Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>

>I think the ancient Greeks were showing an intuitive awareness of the >function of [h] in their language when they chose to mark it with a >diacritic rather than a separate letter. It seems to me to more simply >explain (1) many features of the language if [h] is regarded as a prosody >rather than a phoneme in ancient Greek, cf the word for "hair": > > H >Nom: trik-s --> thriks > > H >Gen. trik-os --> trikhos > >and the verb "to have" > > H >pres. eko: --> ekho: (I have) > > H >fut. ekso: --> hekso: (I shall have) > >A lot of irregularities suddenly disappear :)
Nice analysis, but what I read in Sihler* said that both of these cases happened via the dissimilation of aspirates, which also happened in Sanskrit. As for your analysis, I'm not sure how much sense it makes for the H characteristic of the /i/ to travel all the way back to the /t/. Sihler's analysis: Proto-Greek *thrikhos > trikhos (the first aspirate becomes plain by dissimilation) But *thrikhs > thriks (/s/ causes the aspirate to become plain) In thriks, the /k/ was already deaspirated by the time the dissimilation would have changed place, so the word at that stage only had one aspirate. Thus no dissimilation. *hekho: > ekho: (initial /h/ drops, just as the first aspirate in words with more than one becomes plain) But *hekhso: > hekso: (/k/ becomes plain because of following /s/) *_New Comparative Grammar of Greek and Latin_, Andrew Sihler *Aiworegs