From Latin pingere, present active infinitive of pingō (“I paint”).

I am curious about the sound change within the early Romance languages, while this one above maybe not a sound change for its bizarre phonological shift.

Although its just my guess, I still wonder whether it is a regular sound change or not.

  • OF pleindre is derived from Latin plangere, so ng < nd seems not terribly uncommon. And a change from velar to alveolar was also mentioned in your question on aticum > age.
    – robert
    Aug 23, 2013 at 14:28
  • 2
    This is indeed a regular change, cf. also teindre joindre from Latin tingere jungere etc.: specifically, /ngr/ > /ndr/ in the history of French. Oct 15, 2013 at 5:14

2 Answers 2


I don't think the Latin /g/ has anything to do with the French /d/, actually. French generally shows epenthetic /d/ between historic /n/ and /r/ (although there are some exceptions, such as vinrent and tinrent, and some words such as genre that appear to be exceptions). Consider that tenir, which never had a /g/, has the future stem tiendr-. It's the same sort of sound change that gave us "d" in English thunder from Old English þunor.

I don't know for sure, but based on the stem of this verb having /ɲ/ when it's not before "r", I would guess the development from Latin was something like [piŋgɛrɛ] > [peɲɟɛrɛ] > [peɲɛrɛ] > [peɲrɛ] > [pejnrə] > [pejndrə].

A change of Vulgar Latin /ŋɡʲ/ > /nj/ > /ɲ/ is listed on the Wikipedia article "Phonological history of French" under the section "To Proto-Gallo-Ibero-Romance". A later change it lists under "To Early Old French" is "Palatal /ɲ/ [is] depalatalized to /n/ [...] following [sic] a consonant. /ɲ/ > /jn/ when depalatalising". I assume the author intended to write "preceding a consonant."

There is no general change of Latin -ngr- to French -ndr-. There are words that contain "ngr" in Modern French from Latin "ngr", such as palangre which the CNRTL says is from Latin *panangrum or congre which it says is probably from Latin congrus.

  • Yes, it is epenthetic /d/ between a nasal and a subsequent /r/. There are actually very few exceptions (I believe genre is not one of them, this seems to be relatinisation of the earlier regular gendre; the only exceptions I can think of are 3PL past perfect of venir/tenir - ils vinrent/tinrent, which is probably due to the end-word environment) and the same thing happens with /l/ (simulare/sembler, tremulare/trembler etc.).
    – Eleshar
    Nov 27, 2016 at 17:01

My guess would be that the -e- is lost, then ng assimilates to nd before r. I don't know what the rest of the paradigm looks like, though (because this particular sound change could only take place in the infinitive) - if there's nd elsewhere, I'd wonder if some analogy hadn't happened.

  • 2
    There is no nd elsewhere: tu peins, nous peignons etc. Oct 15, 2013 at 5:19

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