On Mon, 30 Aug 2004 12:34:49 -0700, Philippe Caquant <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > Interesting to note that, while Spanish transforms 'f' > into 'h', Russian transforms 'h' into 'g' (gospital = > [military] hospital). And Ukrainian transforms 'o' > into 'i'. Looks like transforming sounds into other > ones is a major occupation among people. I don't think that's comparable, though - f->h in Spanish was in original words, whereas h->g in Russian is what happens in borrowed words. On Tue, 31 Aug 2004 13:35:45 +0200, Andreas Johansson <[log in to unmask]> wrote: > Quoting Christophe Grandsire <[log in to unmask]>: > > > >Interesting to note that, while Spanish transforms 'f' > > >into 'h', Russian transforms 'h' into 'g' (gospital = > > >[military] hospital). > > > > I thought they would rather transform it into [x], since that's what they > > do when trying to learn a language containing [h]... > > My understanding is that [x] at some point replaced [g] as the replacement of > foreign [h] in Russian. It appears to be a pretty recent thing; I've seen both > _Gitler_ and _Xitler_* in WWII stuff. That's my understanding, too. So older words such as "Gamburg" or "Geynrikh Geyne" have [g] for [h], but newly-borrowed words would tend to use [x]. (Unless the word is already well-known in a form with [g], e.g. "Gelmut Kol" even though Kohl lived after [x] was more commonly used, but "Gelmut" was an established spelling of "Helmut".) > Judging from my atlas, Ukrainian has something spelt transliterated as 'h' where > Russian has 'g' - Chernihiv for Chernigov, and so on. The little voices in my > head say this is probably relevant. Indubitably. Some areas of Russia do this, too (in the south, unsurprisingly - close to the Ukraine). I knew someone from Taganrog (roughly, [tahan"rOk] in his speech; not far from Rostov-na-Donu, on the Sea of Azov) and he had [h] for /g/, at least in some positions. IIRC, Ukrainian has [g] only in onomatopoeia and some loanwords, and uses (used?) a special letter (g-with-upturn) for this, which was abolished (when it became part of the USSR?), though some are trying to reintroduce it. The letter for [g] in Russian is regularly pronounced [h] in Ukrainian, AFAIK. Cheers, -- Philip Newton <[log in to unmask]> Watch the Reply-To!