3.11.2022, 17:30-French diphtongs from the Midde Ages to the present days
Cycle of seminars “Synchronic and diachronic linguistics”
Conference Room, building D3, third floor
Microsoft Teams Platform – Link: https://teams.microsoft.com/l/channel/19%3a5abac259f6504107ad603a568426872b%40thread.tacv2/Generale?groupId=7ffce09f-3827-4982-94db-aa001ec81461&tenantId=c30767db-3dda-4dd4-8°4d-097d22cb99d3
“Le son de la voyelle o est assez notoire:
depuis peu en ça,
on affecte une niaise et
vicieuse prononciation en ce mot chose,
et dit-on chouse;
autres cheuse, ce que je n’approuve.”
(Charles Maupas, Grammaire, 1607)
The evolution of diphthongs in French is as complex as it is controversial. It is complex because the transition from Latin vowels to French diphthongs (for instance STĒLLA > étoile) does not respond to linear patterns. It is controversial if we look at the different results of modern and contemporary studies.
French diphthongs are described in very different ways: there are hypotheses based on superstrate influence, and others that show a strict chronological reconstruction (these are currently popular in linguistics textbooks in France). The linguistic consciousness of speakers, when observed in diachrony and diatopy (from the 6th to the 20th century, from France to Quebec), displays many dissimilar perspectives.
How do we explain the evolution of diphthongs in French? What kind of documents testify to their history?
In this seminar we will study diphthongs and their evolution, also thanks to the examination of modern and contemporary bibliography.
University of Lille
University of Salerno