E f+AOk-sto Nik Taylor <[log in to unmask]>:
> Christophe Grandsire wrote:
>> Actually, things are murkier than just "<h> became silent and that's it"
>> :)) .  Indeed, <h> was already silent in Vulgar Latin even before the
>> Empire. So the original Latin <h> was lost already before split. But
>> sounds change, and /h/ reappeared in some Romance languages, to
>> disappear again. In Spanish, it came from initial /f/ which turned into
>> /h/ (except in front of /w/, which explains  Spanish <fuego> vs.
>> <hablar> from Latin FOCUS and FABULARE, IIRC)
> And before /r/, hence Francia rather than *(H)rancia.

ObConlang: Ibran has the same rule as the Spanish, only but in reverse,
thus <huig> and <faulaar>.

[ObAccuracy: they _were_ <huig> and <faulaar>.  I dont know what they'd be
under the latest version of the sound change rules, which are not actually
finalized through the modern language yet anyway, but the |f > h / _ w| is
certainly part of it.]

> And, for that matter, some dialects of Spanish use /h/ for {j}, so in
> those dialects, /h/ has reappeared *twice*!  :-)  Seems as if they just
> can't make up their minds about whether or not to have /h/ ;-)

Don't forget the dialects that use [h] for syllable-final /s/.
In such a case you could actually have a new /h/ phoneme from the merger
of /x/ > [h] and /s/ > [h] (there's a rule somewhere that a single phone
cannot be an allophone of two different phonemes) e.g. if you had <reloj>
vs. ?<rel+APM-s>.

(I don't believe that /x/ [h] on its own is a change to phonemic /h/,
because the resultant [h] still patterns as a velar, e.g. in assimilating
/n/ to [N].)

Of course Spanish has also waffled on whether it wanted other phonemes as
well, such as /L/, whose original shifted to <j> /Z/ >> /x/ (ALLIU > ajo)
and then creating another /L/ which in some dialects is travelling the
same way (bello > [beZo], tho in mine the [Z] is closer to [J+AFw-] (pretend
that's the voiced palatal fricative sign)).

--                  E jer savne zarj+AOk- mas ne     Se imn+AOk- koone'f metha      Brissve m+AOk- kol+AOk- ad+AOI-.