Modern French seems to be going through the next stage in Jespersen's cycle, from Neg-V-Neg to V-Neg; i.e. Ce n'est pas toi to C'est pas toi.

What else is shifting from one to the next?

1 Answer 1


Welsh is around the same point as French, or maybe slightly further. Literary Welsh retains the original negative particle.

Ni chafodd ef ddim syndod

Not received he not surprise

but everyday Welsh drops it

Chafodd e ddim syndod

Sometimes the negative particle partly survives, either as the -d of the prevocal variant:

Nid wyf i ddim yn mynd -> Dwy ddim yn mynd

Not am I not in going

or in mutation of the following consonant: in the example above, compare Cafodd e syndod "He received a surprise" without aspiration of the /c/.

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