fout(re) > hoot(er)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Thu Aug 31 00:17:11 UTC 2000

At 10:55 PM -0700 8/30/00, Rudolph C Troike wrote:
>Some plausibility is added to this derivation by the fact that [f] > [h]
>is a well-known sound change in Romance (filio: hijo, ferrocarril:
>hierro, to cite Spanish examples). As Chomsky and Halle pointed out, the
>acoustic similarities of labials and velars makes them subject to
>interchange (cf. the history of English /x/ in "laugh"). The change could
>have occurred in a regional variety of French (Norman French?) or in the
>process of transmission from French to English.
It is indeed phonetically plausible on general grounds, and if we
were talking about a Spanish borrowing from French, rather than an
English one, I would need little convincing.  But can anyone cite a
single example of a French loan with [f] being borrowed into English
with [h]?


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