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From:John Cowan <cowan@...>
Date:Monday, March 10, 2003, 11:35
Tristan scripsit:

> Japanese (and I think Spanish?) has done /h/ > /f/ (hence ha hi fu he > ho). This seems to be an especially logical change around rounded vowels > (so presumably it happened before Japanese /u/ unrounded).
Japanese written "f" is actually [p\], the voiceless bilabial fricative. The Spanish story is more complex: original Latin /h/ fell before the Romance languages differentiated, but Spanish changed Latin /f/ to a new /h/, possibly via an intermediate [p\], and this is the state that the orthography shows: hablar < FABULARE. However, /f/ remained unchanged before a consonant, including /w/, so fuego < FOCUS. It took several centuries after this change happened for it to be recognized in writing, shortly after which the new /h/ went down the drain as well. -- John Cowan To say that Bilbo's breath was taken away is no description at all. There are no words left to express his staggerment, since Men changed the language that they learned of elves in the days when all the world was wonderful. --_The Hobbit_


Tristan <kesuari@...>