Questions tagged [french]

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

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1answer
192 views

How does English 'lodge' come from Frankish *laubija by sound change?

lodge (etymonline) (n.) Middle English logge, mid-13c. in surnames and place names; late 13c. as "small building or hut," from Old French loge "arbor, covered walk; hut, cabin, grandstand at ...
6
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1answer
374 views

Earliest recognition that Romance languages are related

I don't know if this is a question for this Stack Exchange or for the History Stack Exchange, but I would like to know when people first understood that the Romance languages were related. I have ...
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0answers
60 views

French Auxiliary Selection. Theoretical explanations?

I've heard that Generative Approaches trying to explain Auxiliary Selection are mostly focused in Italian, because its a language which intransitive verbs respond pretty well to unaccusativity ...
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1answer
107 views

In the context of proper nouns, are there any examples in French where they are used as appellatives? [closed]

There exists many examples of this in English, for example 'there are 3 Carolines in my class' or 'there are several Aberdeens in Scotland' (not true of course..just for example!). I was wondering if ...
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0answers
113 views

Relative Language Distances [closed]

Could someone compare the distance between Modern French and Middle French to Modern English and Middle English. In general which of these languages has diverged more over time?
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474 views

Why does French “cheveu(x)” have “eu” and not “eau”?

Many French words have lost etymological /l/. I have read that this occured due to a process of l-vocalization around the 10th-12th centuries which turned pre-consonantal l to u after any vowel aside ...
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2answers
303 views

Fronting of /u/ from Latin to French

When Latin evolved to French, the vowel /u/ fronted to become /y/... except in Latin "VRSVS" /ur.sus/ > French "ours" /uʁs/, in which the vowel /u/ was kept. I do not think that the /rs/ environment ...
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1answer
5k views

How and why did so many French letters become silent?

It would seem that much ease of use must have been lost when a lot of French letters came to be silent - I never fail to be amazed that "il parle" and "ils parlent" are homophones, and it's very easy ...
2
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2answers
377 views

About Subjunctive/Konjunctive

What is the reason for the difference between German dass-Sätze (which are in the indicative mood) and French que-sentences (which are in the subjunctive mood)? My German understanding is far better ...
6
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2answers
336 views

Historical development of English pronunciation(s) of “hygiene”

I have a two-part question about the pronunciation of hygiene in English. The usual pronunciation, as shown by a variety of online dictionaries accessible from OneLook Dictionary Search, is /...
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405 views

Past participle agreement in French

Background (skip if you know French) In French, to generate the past tense, you use the past participle of the verb, attaching in front a conjugated form of avoir or être. For example: J'ai mangé. (I ...
4
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1answer
313 views

Latin to French - evolution of certain forms of “FACERE > faire”

All forms of the Latin verb "FACERE" that went to French had a "c", but it has disappeared in all forms of the French verb "faire". In FACIS > fais, the "c" completely disappeared. In FACIUNT > font,...
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62 views

As of July 2016, is there any new improved research on predicting French grammatical gender?

Please advise me if there are better research methods; I only searched for Related Articles on Google Scholar to the only 2 recent papers that I know: Cited Articles of French gender assignment ...
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2answers
353 views

Do English and French share the same international phonetic symbol?

[e] and [ε] are pronounced almost the same in English. But there is obvious difference between them in french , french [e] sounds like ‘ay’ in english ‘bay’, really close to the first English letter “...
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2answers
764 views

French corpus with frequency list of POS tagged words (not lemmas)

I'm trying to find a corpus (even purchase it) of French language that has these characteristics: It should has a frequency list List of words (not just lemmas) which are POS tagged Preferably taken ...
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3answers
826 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 exit) ...
4
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3answers
703 views

Why did French survive in Canada 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 ...
2
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1answer
574 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 ...
6
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4answers
515 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
240 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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4answers
1k views

Weekday Abbreviations in multiple languages [closed]

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 ...
2
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0answers
145 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 ...
2
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1answer
273 views

French Pronunciation Dictionary

Is there a French pronunciation dictionary on the web like CMU English dictionary? Thanks.
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1answer
46 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
65 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
37 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
884 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
77 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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1answer
95 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 are ...
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1answer
224 views

Why do many French and Spanish noun cognates have opposing grammatical gender?

While most French/Spanish noun cognates share the same gender (both descending from the same vulgar latin root), there are many exceptions having opposing genders (e.g. la couleur / el color; la ...
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2answers
175 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 adjective carries ...
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0answers
482 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
112 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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2answers
82 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
167 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 word....
3
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1answer
350 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 ...
6
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1answer
4k 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
322 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 differences. ...
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1answer
71 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. ...
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1answer
562 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
84 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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4answers
4k 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
562 views

How did French lose the Latin -v-? [duplicate]

[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
64 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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1answer
119 views

How to learn more about contradictory or superfluous affixes efficiently?

Instead of questioning each word's prefixes, how can I learn more productively? E.g. I was researching the etymology of the French verb 'accabler': [I quoted Wiktionary in French; the English ...
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0answers
761 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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155 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
259 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
88 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, ...
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4answers
8k 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 ...