In this work, after a brief overview on the main proposals about aspiration since Michelena's Fonética histórica vasca (§I), I claim for the etymological value of word internal different /hh/ on the basis of the analysis of different phenomena and arguments: the etymological nature of h1 < *h3/*h2 (§II), the non-antihiatic nature of /-hh-/, as opposed to what happened to their alleged equivalents /-gg-/ (§IV), the antiquity of /-hh-/ (unlike /-ii-/'s case) in the —VihV— clusters (§V), the case of /-f-/, [< w.h, according to Hualde] (§VI); in the same vein, I will deal with the alleged contradiction regarding aspiration shown by hire/eure (§III). I will analyze in §VII the case of two words (auhen and alfer), relating them to what has been discussed in previous sections; again, in both cases we are dealing with etymological /h/. Finally, I will offer some concluding remarks (§VIII), together with a word index (§IX). References will be offered at the end (§X).
Even though the existence of non-etymological internal /-hh-/ is well-known (recall phenomena related to composition), that does not prevent us from arguing the existence of etymological /-hh-/, which according to Michelena would have different orig ins: 1) *-n- > -h-,2) *f > h [plus Gascon -h- > Basque -h-], 3) Proto-Basque *h. In general, the phenomenon should be traced back to the ancient distribution of /-h-/ (and consonants which developed into /-h-/) and to the morphologization of phonological rules, and not to pure arbitrariness nor to merely prosodic reasons.
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