CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Wed Mar 21 18:48:10 CET 2007

Hi, my comments are below;
thanks John for answering this.

--C. E. Whitehead

>Marion Gunn scripsit:
> > Wondering how long before 'françoise' became 'française',
>The spelling change came in 1835, but the pronunciation change was several
>centuries before that.  Originally all these words with written "oi"
>were pronounced "wE" (E = epsilon, e-grave, e in English bed).  In some,
>such as "roide" < Latin RIGIDA, the w-sound was lost; in others, such as
>"froide" < Latin FRIGIDA, the w-sound was preserved.  Around the time
>of the Revolution, the remaining words in "wE" shifted to "wa", but
>the existing words with just "E" were unaffected.  There is no obvious
>reason why certain words changed and others did not: compare francais
>and Francois, or for that matter English swore and sword, or inward
>and innards.

Thanks John
shows the change in the name of the dictionary;
it's the 17th century where we sometimes get "ai" but sometimes "oi" or even 
"oy" in texts;
we have "ai" increasingly in use by the end of the 17th century
in Moliere we do not yet have it;
de la Salle le jeune's 1684 report on his trip down the Mississippi with the 
elder de la Salle and their party shows a mixed use.

(This and other orthographic/sound differences were the reason for the 
request for the subtags;
--C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at

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