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French liaisons (was something else)

From:Philippe Caquant <herodote92@...>
Date:Saturday, February 7, 2004, 16:39
Joe (I think; lost the message) egrapse:

"But French has suffixed plural markers too.  As in
the sentence 'les
écoles ont'.

In spoken French while the liaison between article and
noun is always
marked, the liaison between the noun and the next word
is almost always
dropped. "Les écoles ont" is executed as "lezekolo~"
or rather:
Ezo~" ("les écoles elles ont")."
Right. « Izõ » and « Ezõ » (ils ont, elles ont) are
part of today common spoken French, where the pronoun
(reduced to “i(z)” and “E(z)” is redundant with the
subject. “Lezãfã izõ fi~” = “les enfants, ils ont
faim” = les enfants ont faim (written, correct form).

As to liaisons, something interesting happened when
euro took the place of french franc. There is a
grammatical rule that says that the word “cent” should
be used as a plural in expressions like “trois cents
francs”, but as a singular in expressions like “trois
cent vingt francs”. Don’t ask me why, it’s all the
beauty of the french grammar. Anyway, you are supposed
to follow the rule when writing down a cheque for ex.
But the reality is that, except some old maniac
grammarians, nobody masters that rule any more. As
long as we had the franc, this was now problem when
talking, because “franc” begins with a consonant – so,
no liaison. But with the euro, the catastroph
occurred. So by now, you can hear:
- trois cent(s) heuros (wrong)
- trois cent(s) zeuros (right)
- cent heuros (wrong)
- cent zeuros (wrong)
- cent teuros (right, but seldom heard)
- cent vin(gt) heuros (wrong)
- cent vin(gt) zeuros (horror !)
- cent vin(gt) teuros (right, but seldom heard) (*)
Nobody knows how to do the right liaison, because on
TV and radio it’s regularly pronounced wrongly, and
varyingly wrong. So the language came to a state of
painful unstability. That’s why we feel unhappy and
miserable, and we hardly dare looking to each other
when talking about money.

(*) The Germans renamed euro “teuro” (from “teuer” =
expensive), because the introduction of euro made
prices increase rather much.

Philippe Caquant

"Le langage est source de malentendus."
(Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

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Joe <joe@...>
Nik Taylor <yonjuuni@...>