Our contribution to the Colloquium of Late and Vulgar Latin has been anticipated by previous interventions and articles written on that subject. We have been much helped by the online data of the projects PaLaFra and CoLaMer, which are offering a wide range of texts in late Latin, both historical and hagiographic.We found it hard to define aspirated consonants: they do not exist in modern languages (for instance in French), where they are called digrams or graphical groups or graphemes.
In a corpus made up of late Latin texts, we have discovered words of various origins which contain aspirated consonants: the Hebrew ones are very numerous: pascha or proper names: Seth, Lamech, Iafet/Iaphet (Fredegar), Sabaoth (Passio Quirini). There are also Greek words borrowed by Latin: machi- natio, monachus, thesaurus, prophetess. The Merovingian texts (6th-8th centuries) are a real source of words containing aspirated consonants: the unadapted Frankish words of Pactus legis salicae, which occur together with latinized ones: Bothem, Rhenus, chranne. In Liber Historiae Francorum there are many names of persons and of populations which contain aspirated consonants: Chlodio, Merovechus, Childericus, Gothi. There are many hesitations in the transcription of the aspirated consonants in late Latin texts, therefore we consider our intervention a very useful one for latinists, for specialists of Old French and for romanists.