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Thread: re-latinised French

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    re-latinised French

    Reformed French

    Only 40 % of native Romance words in standard French (surely less, because the study telling that is becoming old) ! Let’s keep in mind that among this primary lexicon exist quantity of words borrowed of Celtic, Germanic, Greek, pre-Celto-Latin and pre-IE words.

    Just for the fun, it isn’t a school lesson. Just some keyes for interessed people who could go further.

    It’s relatively easy to debunk the words re-borrowed from Latin, other more conservative Romance tongues, without speaking here of artificial Greek words (technics, sciences…)

    - Oïl French (not Petrol French) hated the consonants groups, and even the gemelled (doubled) consonants or sonants. The doubled consonants and sonants in modern French have no phonologic value and are just some spoken style among certain groups (classes). French is a over-weakening (lenition) language. Then we have a lot of doublets in French, with it’s true some meaning differences.

    Ex:
    chétif puny, frail > < captifcaptive
    recette recipe + income > < reception reception, receipt
    âme (*anme) soul < animé nimated, alive
    serment oath, promise > < sacrement sacrament
    hôtel hotel > < hôpital (cf hospitalier) hospital
    roture roture > < rupture breaking up
    aile wing > < aisselle armpit
    épaule shoulder > < spatule spatula
    oeuvre (art)work > < opéra opera -
    clocher to go wrong, to malfunction > < claudiquer to limp
    chenal fairway > < canal channel, canal
    frêle frail > < fragile brittle, weak
    grêle thin, spindly > < gracile puny, gracile
    raison reason > < ration ration
    poison poison > < potion potion
    on we (the people in general) lat- homo > < homme man lat- homine –

    Extreme cases:
    évêché diocese, bishopric > < épiscopat -id-
    évier sink (eau < ève water) > < aquarium aquarium
    prêtre preast > < presbytère presbytery -

    &: Dialects have retained more ancient forms than modern standard has. Ex:
    soitié > < société society
    vivre/vèvre > < vipère viper
    orine > < origine origin

    As a whole, I think the other romance (neo-latin) languages of West like Portuguese and Spanish has forged less reconstructed latin words, and show more forms closer to their genuine evolution. Not always, look at Portuguese cheio > < pleno full BI – in French, some of the irregular forms in respect of Oïl evolution are also borrowings to other romance more conservative languages, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian, but also to Occitan and Catalan dialects -

    roughly said, are not genuine Oïl French (North-Normand/Picard aside) words with:
    ca- (except Lat- qua-), -pt, -ct, sp-, -sp, st-, -st, -sc, -sc, sk-, -mn, -sn, -sm, -lt, -lp, -lm, -ln …

    Some words escape to this rule: because their spelling is just an artifice to distinguish two words of same origin or a spelling archaïsm, then without post-romance borrowing: compte/conte # comte (Lat- comput- # comit-) pronounced [ko~t] all three; same for dompte (domit-) → [do~t] or damne → [dân-] (back ‘ah’).
    Last edited by Maciamo; 01-09-21 at 15:30. Reason: formatting issues

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    other words:

    chevalier

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    Très intéressant, Moesan. I will read it well as soon as I can.

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    to be continued

    article article > < orteil (< arteil) toe
    astre aster > < âtre hearth
    pasteur pastor > <pâtre shepherd
    basilique basilica > < bazoge/bazoche basilica
    blasphème blasphemy > < blâme disapproval
    bulgare Bulgarian > < bougre chap, guy (before : kind of sodomite)
    cancre dunce > < chancre canker, chancre
    carne hard meat > < chair flesh, meat
    campagne countryside > < champagne countryside (regional)
    capter to capture > < chasser° (captiare) to hunt
    canon 2 canon (law) > < chanoine canon (person)
    castrer to castrate/geld > < châtrer to castrate, to geld
    cause cause, reason > < chose thing
    cubitus ulna > < coude elbow
    cave cellar > < cage cage
    corridor° passage/corridor > < couloir corridor, gangway
    cohorte cohort, pack > < cour yard, court, courtyard
    cumuler to accumulate > < combler to fill in, to fulfil
    cutané cutaneous, of skin > < couenné rind … (with rind)
    décadence decline, décadence > < déchéance fall, forfeiture, decline
    direct direct, through > < droit straight, right
    doter to endow > < douer endow
    fabrique factory > < forge smithy, forge
    faribole piece of nonsense > < fable fable, tale > Sp- hablar, Port- falar
    fermeté firmness > < ferté fortress (in place names)
    tibia tibia, shin > < tige stem, rod
    parabole parable, parabola > < parole speech, word
    caillou pebble, little stone > < chaillou pebble, little stone (correct Oïlform)
    aveugle blind > < aveuille blind (old French)
    palace luxury hotel > < palais palace + palate
    cavalier rider, bal partner > < chevalier knight
    cavalcade cavalcade > < chevauchée ride
    embuscade ambush > < embûche < embûchée (?) pitfall, trap Germ- *busk


    some words are of uncertain origine like ‘faribole’ from Provençal dialects - ‘caillou’ is from Gaulish, ‘bûche’ from Germanic, passed into Latin as it ; what is interesting is to look at the temrinal Oîl forms, very shortened-


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    All the words here under have not been fixed at the same period if at least between Roman and Old French stages; and standard French, spite based on the dialects of Île-de-FRance, Orléanais and Touraine, contains also words of other Oïl dialects (we ought to say burre in place of beurre (butter), and leu in place of lou(p) (wolf)).

    capital capital > < cheptel cattle
    capitaine captain > < cheftaine(+) -id- cf chieftain : clan chief (the word is faded in French)
    capituler to capitulate > < chapitrer to reprimend, to lecture
    grésil fine hail> < grêle 2 hail (# gracile) cape cape, cloak > < chape screed
    natif (de) born (in) > < naïf naive
    quiet (quiet) > < coi -id-
    claustrer to shut up, to lock up > < cloîtrer -id- + to send into a cluister/convent (cf cluster?)
    vérace true > < vrai(e) -id- (Lat- verus > French vrai)
    frigide frigid, ice cold > < froid(e) cold
    via through, via > < voie way, road


    some loans made later to Occitan and other southern Romance languages:
    cadène (Ital. loan) > < chaîne chain
    cadenette hair plait > < chaînette little chain

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    mirador watchtower, highseeing place (from Catalan) > < miroir mirror -
    coq cook on ships > < (maître) > < queux cook (out of fashion or at least rare term)
    pasteur shepherd (in poesy), pastor > < pâtre shepherd
    vagin vagina > < gaine girdle, sheath (under Germanic influence with Lat- v- pronounced w-)

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    I read that French partially re-Latinized itself in the Middle Ages and Renaissance with more technical and scholarly terms borrowed straight from Latin. It's pretty easy to tell the difference between those and the inherited French words, which changed a lot more from Vulgar Latin. There are a lot of etymological doublets for that reason.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicu View Post
    I read that French partially re-Latinized itself in the Middle Ages and Renaissance with more technical and scholarly terms borrowed straight from Latin. It's pretty easy to tell the difference between those and the inherited French words, which changed a lot more from Vulgar Latin. There are a lot of etymological doublets for that reason.
    True. The same everytime that languages with a common root but diverging evolutions borrow LATER words one from another;
    In today Romanian, there are a lot of lonwords from French, and they are easily distinguishable from the Latin initial layer of words.

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    1 members found this post helpful.
    Exactly, that is very true. Pretty much all Romance languages went through the same process within the last 1000 years or so, with Romanian undergoing it more recently in the last two centuries, thus the changes and differences are more striking and noticeable. Greek also underwent some of that too, with the inherited "vulgar" Demotic of the people (deriving from Byzantine and Koine) being contrasted with the learned Katharevousa classical influences, and modern Greek is a sort of blend of the two. There was a big academic debate in the 19th and 20th centuries about whether these changes were good too. I believe a similar process also happened in Turkey if I'm not mistaken.

    Anyway generally in day-to-day conversation, you have the simpler, inherited base vocabulary of the language used, the "core" so to speak, and in more complicated subject matters you get a lot more of the learned, scholarly borrowings, although a lot of those have become adapted into the language over time and no longer seem that way, becoming "semi-learned".

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    to continue

    rupture break, disruption < > roture commoners
    médian median < > moyen mean, middle, medium
    portique gantry, portico < > porche porch
    confidence confidence 1 < > confiance trust, faith, confidence 2
    salvateur (life) saving < > sauveur saviour, life saver
    strict strict > < étroit narrow, tight, restricted
    caguer to défécate (birds, occitan origin) < > chier to crap, to shit
    légal légal, lawful, forensic < > loyal loyal, fair
    muter to mutate, to move < > muer to moult, to turn (into), to change (voice)
    minute minute, short while < > menu(e) minor, dainty, slender, petite
    scintillerto sparkle, to twinkle, to glitter, to shimmer< > étinceler to sparkle, to flash, to glint
    mastiquer to chew, to putty < > mâcher to chew, to gnaw
    escalestop (airport, harbour), port of call < > échelle ladder
    hirondelleswallow (bird)< > aronde swallow (bird)
    maturemature< > mûr(e) ripe, mature, mellow
    ausculterto check, to test by listening to the respiration< > écoûter to listen
    caleçonunderpants, drawers, shorts< > chausson slipper, inner-boot
    vitre window, glass < > verre glass
    majeuradult, major< > maire mayor
    liguerto ally< > lier to link, to bind, to bond
    augusteaugust, sublime, lofty< > août August (month)*


    * : surprises of the semantic derivations :
    August month is Awst and Eost respectively in Welsh and Breton (all from Latin); in Breton, eost is also a term for ‘harvest’, and ‘harvest’ is cognate with other Germanic words like Herbst (Germanic), herfst (Dutch) whose meanings are ‘autumn’ !

    the most of the more Latin-like forms have been borrowed by Middle-Ages learned "Roman" people of France and put into the common French. But some of these words are also borrowings to other Romance languages or southern French dialects.

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    BTW, the list could very very longer if we would put the genuine French words replaced by more recent borrowings and went away in the garbage cans of History.

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