> A linguist will tell you to call it 'lenition'. I prefer to call
> it 'aspiration' because the meaning of this word makes more sense
> to me. But then again, I'm an engineer, and we're more practical! ;)
Ah, yes. As a practical man, I can call that strange tube under the
channel an aeroplane. The word "aspiration" came into use because
people who didn't know what the "h" meant treated it as a sign of
(post-)aspiration of the consonant it modifies, in turn because in
some languages "h" in initial posistion in a word represents
pre-aspiration of an initial vowel. Even in English h is never
used to represent aspiration of a consonant.
In Welsh, if I want an oblique case of morfa I write forfa; in SG I
write mhagh for an oblique case of magh. A single phonetic change
from [m] to [v] occurs in either language. This change has nothing to
do with "aspiration". To call the change from "morfa" to "forfa" or
from "bach" to "fach" aspiration is as bad as calling a tunnel an
aeroplane. Call it what it is: lenition.
As a practical engineer, you would presumably not call the channel
tunnel an aeroplane. So as a practical engineer myself, I have to ask
you why you want to call lenition aspiration.