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> Date:         Tue, 23 Jan 2001 22:00:11 -0600
> From:         Eric Christopherson <[log in to unmask]>

> and Danny Wier wrote:
> >A quick question: how did the letter H get to be known as "aitch"
> >(French and Spanish _ache_, both of course being pronounced differently?
>
> Apparently, the Latin name was <ha>, which somehow and for some
> reason was changed later to <ah>, also spelled <ach> (perhaps it was
> more /ak/ or /ax/ than /ah/?)

Did it perhaps change its name only in the regions where /h/ was lost,
i.e., the later Romance area? It would make sense if the nearest
approximation was some sort of oral fricative that couldn't occur
initially.

Northern Europe would have got the name early, and kept it unchanged.
But the question still remains, why was it /ha/ in Latin, not /he/?
Perhaps just because it's so far back in the mouth.

Lars Mathiesen (U of Copenhagen CS Dep) <[log in to unmask]> (Humour NOT marked)