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 nouns, because it appears to concern both English and French.
How did 'pity = pitié' evolve to connote negativity? As per the bolded, how did 'piety = piété' affect 'pity = pitié'?
early 13c., from Old French pite, pitet "pity, mercy, compassion, care, tenderness; pitiful state, wretched condition" (11c., Modern French pitié), from Latin pietatem (nominative pietas) "piety, loyalty, duty" (see piety). ...
English pity and piety were not fully distinguished until 17c.
Transferred sense of "grounds or cause for pity" is from late 14c.
I heed the Etymological Fallacy. But what are some right ways of interpreting th etymology, to make it feel reasonable and intuitive?