|From:||John Cowan <cowan@...>|
|Date:||Monday, March 10, 2003, 11:35|
> 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 http://www.ccil.org/~cowan firstname.lastname@example.org
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.