On Sat, 15 Sep 2001 00:54:42 +0200, "Che" <almogaver69@...
>Característiques del gascó: trets evolutius
> 1.. Pas de F llatina a H, en alguns llocs aspirada:
> FERRUM> hèr
This is also found in Castilian and has traditionally been taken as
evidence of Basque substrate in both Gascon and Castilian. The
Vasconist R.L [Larry] Trask has recently argued forcefully against
this, at least where it concerns Castilian (see: "The History of
Basque pp. 424-429). He gives 7 arguments against the Basque
1. Basque was never spoken in significant numbers in the territories
where Castilian first evolved (Burgos/Santander area)
2. Latin /f/ remained in Castilian before /ue/ [e.g. fuerte] and /r/
[e.g. frente], which is inconsistent with a scenario where
pre-Castilians were unable to pronounce /f/.
3. The substrate theory would require the change /f/ > /h/ to have
occurred at the very birth of Castilian, but the evidence from
consecutive layers of (Visi-)Gothic, Arabic and Old French loanwords
in Castilian proves that the change occurred after the Gothic period
and during the period where Arabic words came into the language (8th.
4. Basque itself does not know the development /f/ > /h/. Latin /f/
is borrowed in Basque as /b/.
5. The change /f/ > /h/ also occurs in parts of Sardinia, Calabria, in
northern Italy and in Arumanian, where Basque substrate influence
cannot be invoked.
6. The change /f/ > /h/ is entirely absent in the area where Basque
substrate is demonstrably present, i.e. in Navarrese Romance.
7. None of the other typical Castilian developments have parallels in
Some of these points are hard to argue with. My own position is that
Castilian arose in an area where Romanization had indeed been less
strong than in other areas of the Iberian peninsula. It arose on a
linguistic substrate that was *not* Basque, but rather Cantabrian. We
don't know what kind of language the Cantabrians spoke, but there are
reasons to believe that it was an Indo-European language (presumable
pre- or para-Celtic), heavily influenced by an earlier "Vasconic"
substrate. Cantabrian, together with e.g. Iberian and Basque,
probably belonged to a kind of Iberian "Sprachbund", where several
unrelated languages had acquired similar phonetic and phonotactic
characteristics. The bottom line is that Cantabrian probably had no
/f/ either, and may have had /h/. We can imagine that the treatment
of Latin /f/ was influenced by the degree of Romanization: it was
pronounced /f/ in areas of strong and prolongued Romanization, /b/ in
areas of weak and ephemerous Romanization, such as the Basque Country.
In between, there may have been areas of medium-strong Romanization,
where the /f/ became /h/ or /P/ (bilabial fricative). This would
explain the /h/ in Gascon, and the /h/ in some districts along the
Basque/Castilian linguistic border. From there, the /h/ would have
spread secondarily into mainstream Castilian around the 8th. century.
> 2.. Caiguda de N intervocàlica: FARINA> haria
As in Basque.
> 3.. Pas de L final de síl·laba a U semivocal: SAL> sau
Not in Basque.
> 4.. Evolució de LL llatina interior o final a TH:
> VITELLU> vedèth
Not in Basque.
> 5.. LL intervocàlica passa a R: BELLA> bèra
In Basque /ll/ > /l/ (while /l/ > /r/).
> 6.. Aparició de A- protètica davant de R inicial, doblant-se així la R: ROTA> arròda
As in Basque.
> 7.. Metàtesi de -R: VENTRUM> vrente
Not specifically Basque.