Roger Mills <[log in to unmask]> writes:
> JS Bangs wrote:
> > .... This actually poses a question: In those dialects
> > of Spanish that have a vowel quality difference in closed syllables, does
> > the first syllable of /perro/ behave differently from the one in /pero/?
> Non-native speaker says, no, and suspects the word is syllabified pe-rro;
> both would have the more open [E] allophone that occurs before a rhotic.

Is that really so? [E] in an open syllable?

I may be influenced by this thread, but I *think* I pronounce
the /e/ in |pero| a bit tenser and higher than the one in |perro|.
I know that I read about this somewhere (in a text about phonemic
distinctions using this very same pair of words).

Having gemination as a feature just for this pair of phones seems
a bit inadequate IMHO. |Perro| is definitely syllabified |pe-rro|,
even if it's the anomalous form [pEro].

This thread needs an urgent subject change...

PS (long):

After some searching about, I found a text with a list
of Spanish words with intervocalic /r/ that are not
Latin in origin, but borrowed from Celtic and Iberic
tongues and Basque.

 cencerro (Basque _zinzerri_)
 chaparro (Basque _tsapar_)
 charro (Basque _tsar_)

The text also claims that many words beginning with /ar/
in Spanish, with an original root that really begins in /r/,
are the result of a (very old) substrate influence, and
mentions the fact that Basque uses a prothetic vowel to
support an otherwise initial /r/, as can be seen in Spanish
loans /arasa/ <- Sp. 'raza', /arosa/ <- Sp. 'rosa' etc. This
phenomenon produced such Spanish lexical items as 'arruga',
'arrepentir', 'arrancar', 'arrebatar' (there are no modern
related words without the prothetic /a/, that I know of,
except for 'rebato', which in turn is only used in a fixed
phrase 'tocar a rebato'... so it gets a prothetic /a/ anyway).[1]

All of this could help explain why Spanish rhotics are somehow
anomalous (or difficult to categorize alongside those in other
Romance languages). While |rr| in original Latin words was a
geminate, there are many modern |rr|'s that are definitely from
different sources, and unrelated to the flapped |r|.

[1] Speaking of which, does anybody know whether there's a
relation between English 'raze' and Spanish 'arrasar' ('raze,
destroy, devastate')? I know 'raze' <- Old French 'raser'
= 'scrape' or 'shave'...

--Pablo Flores
  "The future is all around us, waiting, in moments
   of transition, to be born in moments of revelation.
   No one knows the shape of that future or where it
   will take us. We know only that it is always born
   in pain."  -- G'Kar quoting G'Quon, in "Babylon 5"