Romance language, official in 29 states, including France, Belgium and Côte d'Ivoire.

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89 views

In what language was this following scripture written? What does it mean?

I was having a chat with someone and I was wondering whether this text (that seems to regard the White Ship incident) were written in some form of English, or possibly in Latin or French. Sorry for ...
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3answers
239 views

Why does French use “be” as the auxiliary for a few verbs? [duplicate]

In French, there are a set of 17 verbs lovingly called the Vandertramps: Devenir (to become) Revenir (to come back) . & Monter (to climb) Rentrer (to reenter) Sortir (to ...
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1answer
90 views

Why did French survive in Canda while being far from France, while other languages didn't (Arabic in Malta, Dutch in South Africa)

I always wondered, what makes some languages survive for a long time in a form that is similar to the one from its origin, while others didn't. For example, French in Canada, while being there for ...
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1answer
69 views

How and when do French children learn to select between masculine and feminine forms of words when referring to themselves?

I am interested in what knowledge we have regarding the process by which a young child acquiring French as a first language learns to choose correctly between the masculine and feminine forms of ...
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0answers
14 views

What underlying semantic notions connect 'comeback' to 'joining' or 'restarting'?

[ repartee (n.) : ] 1640s, "quick remark," from French repartie "an answering blow or thrust" (originally a fencing term), noun use of fem. past participle of Old French repartir [See ...
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1answer
112 views

How do illiterate French people learn which pronunciation to use in different sentences?

Are there any studies on language acquisition for illiterate French people? Are they aware of the spelling of French words on a subconscious level to be able to pronounce them correctly in different ...
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2answers
50 views

How verb tenses evolve

I have two questions on this topic. The firstmay be too general, but basically, I am curious as to how tenses evolve and whether tenses between languages can be used to help find out whether languages ...
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2answers
78 views

Weekday Abbreviations in multiple languages

I am working on designing a piece of software that must support multiple languages. There is a design scheme in English at the moment that displays weekdays using a single character (ie: "S M T W T F ...
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49 views

Does Japanese have as many English-derived words as English has French-derived words?

According to current corpora and other tools used by language researchers, does the current vocabulary of Japanese already contain as many words borrowed/derived from English as the number of English ...
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0answers
36 views

French Pronunciation Dictionary

Is there a French pronunciation dictionary on the web like CMU English dictionary? Thanks.
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1answer
40 views

How does 'envisager de' presuppose nothing situational, but 'hésiter à' does?

Source: p 177, French prepositions à and de in infinitival complements, A pragma-semantic analysis (2008) by Lidia Fraczak, as part of Adpositions ; Pragmatic, semantic and syntactic perspectives ...
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1answer
33 views

« essayé de s’évader » : How does « essayer de » not presuppose « s'evader »? [closed]

Source: p 175, French prepositions à and de in infinitival complements, A pragma-semantic analysis (2008) by Lidia Fraczak, as part of Adpositions ; Pragmatic, semantic and syntactic perspectives ...
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0answers
19 views

How do 'what is risked' and 'potentially risky activity' differentiate « risquer å » from « risquer de » ?

Source: p 368, The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics edited ...
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24 views

What special relationship does 'de' reveal between a main verb and the infinitive?

Source: pp 367-368, The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics ...
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0answers
74 views

Why is the French accent so different from other Romance accents? [closed]

In terms of pronounciation, the general French accent is very different from the Italian, Spanish or Romanian ones. For example: many conventional sounds in Romance langauges (i.e. /r/ or /j/) are ...
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1answer
36 views

How does the French preposition 'de' connect to alienable possession? [closed]

Source: The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics edited by ...
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0answers
22 views

How does the French preposition 'de' connect to inalienablility and subordination?

Source: The semantics of ‘empty prepositions’ in French (1996) by Kemmer and Shyldkrot, as part of Cognitive Linguistics in the Redwoods: The Expansion of a New Paradigm in Linguistics edited by ...
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1answer
57 views

How did 'of' absorb so many meanings?

[OED:] The primary sense was ‘away’, ‘away from’, a sense now obsolete, except in so far as it is retained under the spelling off (see off adv., prep., n.1, and adj.). All the existing uses of of ...
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1answer
70 views

What resources explain the oppositions in Grammatical Gender between French and Spanish noun cognates?

Abbreviate Grammatical Gender to GG. This question concerns binary contrarieties and oppositions (Are these the correct terms?) in GG between French and Spanish noun cognates. Are there any books or ...
2
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2answers
73 views

For adjectives which change meaning by position: why are they subjective before nouns but objective after?

Meaning-changing adjectives [Source:] Some adjectives can mean different things depending on their placement around the noun they modify. When placed after the noun like normal, the ...
2
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0answers
47 views

How do you articulate the uvular trill, when you can already articulate the uvular fricative?

Key Assumptions: 1. My uncle speaks only General American English (so he cannot resort to other languages' phonetic inventories). Whenever he tries to phonate the uvular trill [ʀ], he fails and ...
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1answer
64 views

How was the Anglo-Norman spelling of 'demesne' 'merely graphic'?

[OED:] The Anglo-Norman spelling demesne of the law-books, and 17th cent. legal antiquaries, was partly merely graphic (the quiescence of original s before a consonant leading to the insertion of a ...
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0answers
41 views

What evidence is there that the primary distinction of the French tense system is between past and non-past?

How would one go about answering this question: Consider the justification for the claim that the primary division in the French tense system is between past and non-past?
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2answers
73 views

Slip of the meaning of expressions

Numerous expressions get their (popular) meaning largely or totally changed with time. Sometime it is in one language and not the others. Sometimes changes go different ways (cf. formidable or ...
2
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1answer
105 views

Does the French word [fij] (fille) consist of a single open syllable?

For an assignment in one of our classes, our teacher had directed us to analyze a set of french words, which included the word [fij] (fille). However, later, she instructed us not to analyze that ...
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102 views

What explains the sound development from Latin -vi- to French -dg- ?

abridge (v.) [...] from Old French abregier "abridge, diminish, shorten," from Late Latin abbreviare "make short" (see abbreviate). The sound development from Latin -vi- to French -dg- is ...
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2answers
201 views

Was the change in spelling from “cw” to “qu” in English associated with any difference in pronunciation?

I always thought that "cw" in Old English represented /kw/, and the same for modern English "qu", and that the change from one to the other was purely orthographic, since the "qu" digraph was more ...
3
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2answers
128 views

What explains the differences between doublet verbs that differ by a prefix?

The differences in meanings of doublet verbs such as 3-6 below: Are there any resources that investigate the big picture behind them? I abhor to memorise, and prefer to understand, such ...
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1answer
42 views

Does '-ous' imply no interruption, and '-al' the possibility of interruption?

I already know that 'continuous' is stronger than continual, but that both derive from the same Latin etymon continuus. These answers on ELU evidence this difference, but does not explain the cause. ...
2
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1answer
142 views

Why is the past participle of the French « lire » « lu », but « rire » « ri »?

Phonologically,« lire » and « rire » sound like a minimal pair, with the first letter as the only difference. So what might explain the difference between their « participes passé »? Their etymons ...
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1answer
62 views

How does a rule explain how « à chef » evolved into « achever »?

Etymonline refers to the "An Etymological Dictionary of the French Language" by Auguste Brachet, translated by G.W. Kitchin, Oxford, 1878. Its entry for achever, on page 152 of 558, states: For f ...
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2answers
117 views

Online etymology dictionaries for French, beyond CNTRL?

Are there etymology dictionaries for French available on the Internet? To wit, what's a French equivalent of http://etymonline.com/? I already know about TLF informatisé (TLFi), but often, it does ...
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2answers
120 views

How did French lose the Latin -v-?

[Source:] Loss of Latin -v- is regular in French in some situations (compare alleger from alleviare; neige from nivea; jeune from juvenis. A different sound evolution from the Latin word yielded ...
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0answers
29 views

How common are indefinite pronouns in creole languages?

I understand that creole languages from all parts of the world share many disparate features. Amongst them, how common are third–person, singular, indefinite pronouns (like the French “on”) in creole ...
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58 views

How to learn more about seemingly contradictory or superfuous affixes?

Instead of questioning each word's prefixes, how can I learn more about this efficiently and productively? I wish to learn, myself, to expose and explain all hidden, missing semantic drifts and link. ...
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46 views

How did the Old French 'vengier' produce, in its cognates, so many valencies?

avenge (v.) [←] late 14c., from Anglo-French avenger, Old French avengier, from a- "to" (see ad-) + vengier "take revenge" (Modern French venger) [continued below] revenge (v.) [←] ...
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0answers
78 views

'penance' vs 'penitence'

penance (n.) [←] late 13c., "religious discipline or self-mortification as a token of repentance and as atonement for some sin," from Anglo-French penaunce, Old French peneance (12c.), from ...
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77 views

Why were prefixes repeated as postverbal prepositions?

French: s'abstenir de    Spanish: abstenerse de    English: abstain [from] (v.) [<--] late 14c., "to withhold oneself," from Old French abstenir (14c.), earlier astenir (13c.) "hold ...
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0answers
104 views

Specifics about the impact of natural gender on pronunciation?

What is the difference in pronunciation between women and men when speaking a language, as opposed to the difference in the voice of men and women? The context for the question arises from my looking ...
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1answer
43 views

Did the English 'confer' evolve from the Middle French « conférer » ?

[Etymonline :] 1530s, from Middle French conférer (14c.) "to give, converse, compare," from Latin conferre "to bring together," figuratively "to compare; consult, deliberate, talk over," from com- ...
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1answer
292 views

Why there are no grammatical cases in the French language?

As far as I know, the French language is considered as a Romance language, which is derived, in its turn, from the Latin language. The last one has a rich grammatical cases system. I am interested to ...
2
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1answer
115 views

“come” in “become” (English) vs “venir” in “devenir” (French)

In both French and English, the word for become (devenir) includes the word for come (venir), even though the etymologies and words are very different. Why might this be?
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1answer
104 views

How did 'piety = piété' and 'pity = pitié' diverge and evolve?

This Quora question motivated this. Do the Etymonline entries below imply that the connotation changed in Old French (and so even before English)? I pose the question also for the equivalent French ...
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55 views

'reason that' (English) vs 'reason for which' (French)

I already know of the redundancy of reason why, which I ask NOT about. Please advise if I erred, but does the following (by Prof John Lawler) support the rightness of reason that? 1. He didn't ...
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1answer
82 views

How did 'sensuality' evolve to connote lechery? Does 'sensualité'?

Is the French feminine noun sensualité asexual? The English noun is sexual. Why? I heed the Etymological Fallacy. But what are some right ways of interpreting the dchotomy, to make it feel reasonable ...
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1answer
62 views

'scorn': How can a human have horns?

I'm trying to understand both the etymology of 'scorn', (which derives from) that of the Old French 'escarn'. So I'm trying to understand both. [Etymonline for 'scorn (n.)' :] c. 1200, a ...
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3answers
116 views

How does the prefix 'entre' in French's 'entreprendre' compare with the prefix 'under-' in English's 'undertake'?

enterprise (n.) early 15c., "an undertaking," formerly also enterprize, from Old French enterprise "an undertaking," noun use of fem. past participle of entreprendre "UNDERtake, take in hand" ...
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1answer
81 views

Etmology of Old French 'escorgier' : How does 'bind' evolve to mean 'whip'?

scourge (n.) c. 1200, "a whip, lash," from Anglo-French escorge, back-formation from Old French escorgier "to whip," from Vulgar Latin excorrigiare, from Latin ex- "out, off" (see ex-) + corrigia ...
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1answer
127 views

Where do the spelling rules for French imperatives come from?

French verbs are, for historical reasons, typically grouped into three classes. The loss of final consonants in French has resulted in a serious divergence, wherein the verb conjugation system of the ...
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52 views

'dispose' vs 'dispose of' & « disposer » vs « disposer de »

[Source:] [D1.] dispose (v.) - (a) to arrange in order; (b) to lean toward or incline (typically used as a past participle). ... [D2.] dispose of (phrasal v.) - (a) to throw away or discard; (b) ...