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R: Re: Languages

From:Mangiat <mangiat@...>
Date:Monday, November 6, 2000, 13:45
Ehe! Exceptions, exceptions! These relics are really interesting. We'll see
if the rule 'drop the final consonant' is really true if, in a couple of
centuries we'll have /kotidjEn/-/kotidjE/ or /brEv/-/brE/ opposition
(genereted by assimilation to the general rule).


> of > > > course, the written form of French long hid the actual rules... > > > Besides, saying that there's a grammatical rule of "drop final > > consonant" is just so much more interesting! > > This is an interesting argument which I've never heard before, but it
> as many questions as it purports to explain away. > > Seems like you have to allow a special dispensation for nasals and
> Why, for example, isn't it > > FEM MASC > belle /bEl/ drop the "l" for */bE/ > (that masculine is /bo/ to me indicates there was a dark "l" thing going
> meaning it retained the "l") > > FEM MASC > finale /final/ drop the "l" for */fina/ (no, it, too, is /final/) > (masc. pl. also has that dark "l" thing, as above) > > FEM MASC > fière /fjER/ drop the "r" for */fjE/ or */fje/ (no, it's /fjER/) > (noir, noire; cher, chère work the same way) > > FEM MASC > quotidienne /kotidjEn/ drop the "n" for */kotidjE/ > (if the "n" is dropped, why is there nasalization of the correct masc. > /kotidjE~/?) > > How 'bout these?
> FEM MASC > brève /bREv/ drop the "v" for */bRE/ > (masc. is /bREf/ -- a special devoicing rule for adj. ending in "v"?) > (fautif, fautive acts similarly) > > What about adj. that always end in "e" in the orthography? > > "sage", "inefficace", "chauve", "riche" don't go to /sa/, /inEfika/, /So/, > and /Ri/ as masculines. The "add -e" argument can simply say that these > already end in a mute "e", so you can't add another "e", hence forms don't > change, ergo MASC and FEM are the same in these cases. The "drop -e (and > final consonant)" argument now has to explain why there's an entire class
> adjectives that don't do that. > > What about past participles (particularly of irregular verbs). > > "mis" is normally pronounced /mi/. The only time it manifests itself as > /miz/ (spelled "mise" or "mises") is when a feminine direct object
> it (la clef que j'ai _mise_sur la table) or when the feminine noun is
> in a passive construction with "être" (la clef a été _mise_ sur la table). > Elsewhere, it's /mi/ (J'ai mis la table -- I set the table). Are we to say > that the form which occurs in only one instance is the "underlying" form
> the form that occurs everywhere else is the "transformed" form? > Counterintuitive? > > Finally, when masculine adj. occur in elision environments, their final > consonant often (albeit often optionally) resurfaces: mauvais appartement > /mOvEz apaRtma~/, grand appartement /gRa~d apaRtma~/, bel appartement /bEl > apaRtma~/. If it were truly dropped, why is it cropping up here? I would > find it easier to explain that /mOvEz/, /gRa~d/, and /bEl/ are the > underlying forms and that it surfaces when there's a following vowel
> say, a feminine "-e"). > > Having learned it the old-fashioned way (affreux, affreuse; brun, > brune....), I can certainly appreciate that it looks capricious at times. > But reversing the argument and starting with the feminine form as the > springboard, I think, creates its own set of seemingly capricious rules. > > Kou