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--- On Sat, 10/23/10, David McCann <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> > Den 22. okt. 2010 kl. 18.11 skreiv Jörg Rhiemeier:
> > >
> > > The sound change of the type /sp/ > /b/ looks
> unlikely to me;
> > 
> > Why? You only need two steps: /sp/ > /p/ > /b/
> 
> There's no motivation for /p/ > /b/ initially, where
> there's nothing
> preceding the /p/ to cause it to voice; voiceless stops are
> the "default
> consonants".

Agreed. The only "reasonable" way(s) I could justify such a sound change would be:
1. pre-cons. (pre-stop?) *s > z , then the stop voices and the /z/ drops (but all for unnatural/ad hoc reasons IMHO :-)) ) OR

2.*s > z everywhere, then stops voice, pre-cons. z- drops (slightly more natural, except for the z-drop). There's some justification for general s > z, since that happened to VL -VsV- (Fr. Ital and IIRC Port.) and one could posit the change spreading by analogy; while VS -VssV- > /s/ (usu. written "ss") in those languages. (Final *s could remain /s/ if you have final devoicing)