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Re: pronunciation of saurus by a spanish speaker who also knowssome greek

The words that had <au> in Latin that have come into Spanish, Italian,
etc., through "natural" historical processes have simply been respelled
to match their contemporary pronunciation (e.g. Spanish and Italian
*oro* 'gold', from Latin *aurum*).

Gah! Of course. I had spent the weekend in Venice and been to the "quarter" (i. e. "sixth") called Sestier de San Polo, which would be Sestiere di San Paolo in Standard Italian. I only thought of this one example.