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On Sun, 25 Feb 2018 09:42:49 -0500, Alex Fink <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>On Sat, 24 Feb 2018 19:34:25 +0000, Raymond Brown <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>>On 24/02/2018 17:44, Aidan Aannestad wrote:
>>[snip]
>>> This, I think, is the key question regarding whether or not
>>> Britainese gains /θ/. Whole phonemes tend to be loaned only in
>>> fairly close contact situations, though the possibility of creating
>>> a /θ/-/ð/ opposition might ease the loaning a bit. If contact
>>> between Britainese and the Germanic people in Britain doesn't involve
>>> a degree of widespread bilingualism, and especially since British
>>> Germanic would have lower prestige attached to it than Britainese, I
>>> doubt we'd see a whole phoneme loaned across. It's much more likely,
>>> IMO, that we'd see the same as what happened in French, namely,
>>> realising Germanic /θ/ as /t/
>>
>>Thank you, Aidan, very fair points.
>
>I have to interject -- this argument goes for /w/ and /h/ exactly as well as it goes for /θ/!  Ray has pointed to Walloon and Picard to justify the retention of /w/ and /h/, and this evinces that their speakers were in fact close enough to the Germanic speakers to borrow whole phonemes.  Given that there was no [θ] in continental Germanic, they can give us no evidence on this point.  If there was /θ/ to borrow, though, what would have made it intrinsically less borrowable than /w/ and /h/?

I meant to append that, in a Romance language with some extant contrastive /ð/ at the time -- with a synchronic fricative system of /f v   _ ð   s z/ and perhaps some palato-alveolars -- /θ/ has a *better* shot at being borrowed than /h/ for structural reasons.  /θ/ fits hand in glove into a gap in the phonological system, whereas /h/ is an utter alien at this point (excepting its possible survival in local renderings of Latin?  here I don't know the history).

Alex