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Re: Soleil

From:Jan van Steenbergen <ijzeren_jan@...>
Date:Thursday, November 4, 2004, 18:23
 --- Charlie skrzypszy:

> Thanks! That's been plaguing me for years. My next (rhetorical) > question is: Why would anyone want to make a diminutive > of "sun"? "What a cute little sun!" "Ear" I can understand!
Well, in fact the expression "zonnetje" (dim. of sun) is very common in Dutch. In this particular case it means not "little sun", but rather something like "pleasant sun", as in "Ik ga vandaag eens lekker de hele dag in het zonnetje zitten". Furthermore, I doubt very much of soleil/SOLICULUM ever had a really dimunitive meaning in Early French. As John said, the diminutive forms were adopted merely in order to avoid confusion between many forms that became too similar as a result of the dropping of medial consonants and similar developments. I doubt very much if the dimunitive meaning was adopted along with the form. Note also that French later developed other dimunitive forms.
> Which prompts the question: if it's a regular development, why > does "oreille" have -lle, while "soleil" only has "-l"?
That's because of final -a in Latin. In French, all final consonants collapsed, except -a, which became -e. Hence, "oreille" (f) is from AURICULA, while "soleil" (m) is from SOLICULU(M). ^ ^ Jan ===== "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito." ___________________________________________________________ALL-NEW Yahoo! Messenger - all new features - even more fun!