> 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.
--- In email@example.com, "Piotr Gasiorowski" <gpiotr@...> wrote:
> <pulcher> is a spelling variant of <pulcer>, also attested. Like
> <lachryma> for <lacruma> or <triumphus> for older <triumpus>, it
> may be a recherché 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
(should be <mlac(h)>)
I came across this very outdated etymological dictionary
for <pulchrus> from
<πολύχρους> "having much color or complexion"
Or else from
<πολύχαρις> "having much grace and elegance"
Hence <polchris>, <pulchris>.
Or else from
<πολύχειρ> considered as meaning
"having much avail in the hand, strong"...'
Pure speculation or ...? Latin <pulcher> does look like something that has been through Etruscan.
Many speculate that pulcher was from Etruscan but as you show it probably went through Etruscan on the way from Greek, as quite a few other words did