Re: [tied] pulcher

From: Piotr Gasiorowski
Message: 8808
Date: 2001-08-28

<pulcher> is a spelling variant of <pulcer>, also attested. Like <lachryma> for <lacruma> or <triumphus> for older <triumpus>, it may be a recherch√© pseudo-Greek spelling, perhaps reflecting a real affected pronunciation with an aspirated stop. Compare those English mock-classical <ph> and <th> spellings that have no historical justification but have already managed to affect the pronunciation of <nephew> (now often ['nefju:] rather than ['nevju:]), <author> (ME autour -- even Milton still wrote <autority>) and sometimes even of <Thames>, at least locally in Connecticut.
----- Original Message -----
From: tgpedersen@...
Sent: Tuesday, August 28, 2001 8:13 PM
Subject: [tied] pulcher

  I know it's a minor detail, but it's been bugging me: what is
that /h/ doing in Lat. <pulcher>? Considering other inflected forms
("nigra sum, sed pulchra...") it would make sense to assume that
the /h/ is there to indicate that the /c/ should not be
pronounced /c^/, but then it looks like very early Italian? Didn't
the Romans otherwise use /h/ in Greek loans to indicate aspiration?
But this is not aspirated? I'm confused.


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