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Staving Mark J. Reed:
>On Sat, Jan 10, 2004 at 07:00:15PM -0500, Doug Dee wrote:
> > According to _Vulgar Latin_ by Jozsef Herman (Translated by Roger Wright),
> > the loss of the Latin /h/ phoneme "happened in the Republican period,
> that is,
> > even before the Empire".
>
>Really!  So Gaius Iulius didn't pronounce his <h>s?  Interesting!

Catullus (contemporary with Caesar) mentions a young man with the affected
habit of introducing unnecessary h's into words

chommoda dicebat, si quando commoda vellet
dicere, et hinsidias Arrius hinsidias.
et tum mirafice sperabat esse locutum
cum quantum poterat dixerat hinsidias.
credo sic mater, sic Liber avunculus eius.
sic maternus avus dixerat atque avia.
hoc misso in Syriam requierant omnibus aures.
audibant eadem haec leniter et leviter.
nec sibi postilla metuebant talia verba.
cum subito affertur nuntius horribilis.
Ionios fluctus postquam illuc Arrius isset
iam non Ionios esse sed Hionios.

I translated this as

Arrius said "Hextras"*, whenever he meant to say "Extras",
And "Hambush" instead of "Ambush".
And then he flattered himself to have spoken exceedingly well,
since he had said "Hambush" as forcibly as he could.
I believe that his mother, his uncle Liber**,
His maternal grandfather and grandmother all spoke thus.
When he was sent to Syria, all our ears were at rest.
They heard the same sound lighter and softer
And didnot again fear to hear such dreadful words.
But suddenly, terrible news was brought,
That the Ionian sea, after Arrius went there,
Was no longer "Ionian" but "Hionian".

* If you want to preserve the aspirated consonant, you could say "Bhonuses".
** Possibly "his free uncle".

Pete