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Quoting 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.
>
> 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/ ;-)

On top of which some turn syllable-final /s/ to [h], on top of which some drop
syllable-final [h]. A severe case of phonetic DPD, methinks!

                                                          Andreas