Language subtag modification form for 1694acad (Was: Flavors of Hepburn)

CE Whitehead cewcathar at
Fri Oct 2 01:21:32 CEST 2009

Doug Ewell doug at 
Wed Sep 30 14:46:09 CEST 2009 

> CE Whitehead <cewcathar at hotmail dot com> wrote:

>> I believe the reason there is no date listed for "Early Modern French" 
>> is that it persisted a bit later in the 'New World' than in the 'Old.' 
>> (In the old it did not  persist much past 1660; in the new it 
>> persisted in some degree until near the end of the 17th century!)   I 
>> feel I should now insert "ending late 17th century" or something into 
>> the description field??  Wouldn't that be a better solution?

> My point, at least, was not that we need a "solution" to revise existing 
> tags to add more detail, but that sometimes the existing descriptions 
> are adequate.

> In particular, "early modern" versions of modern languages are going to 
> be somewhat fuzzy (to use Randy's term).  Almost by definition, they 
> morphed into the modern form at different times, depending on who the 
> speakers and writers were.  There will be a lot of text samples which 
> will be difficult to pin down as either "fr" or "fr-1694acad", and I'm 
> not sure how trying to assign an ending date to the subtag solves that 
> problem.
Actually, having a date will help to precise the variety, but thank you for your correction; in Canada and France, although accents are normalized by the end of the saweventeenth century 'oi' for 'ai' persists throughout the 18th century; and, at least in Canada/Louisiana/New France, I believe that 'oy' for 'oi' persists as well as 'parolle' for 'parole'--'speech' (this latter is strictly orthographic I think). 

The variety of "Early Modern French" that I described ( 'oi' for 'ai'; the past participle ending with e and the accent aigu being spelled without any accent as ez, er, or e, depending; 'loing' for 'loin'--'far;' 'coste' for 'cote'--'side'; finally, before a 't', e with accent aigu may be spelled 'es' as may e with a circumflex!) however seems to end largely around or just before 1700.  Interestingly, the final pages of de la Salle's journal written in the New World at the end of the 17th century show a gradual ceasing of writing the past participle ending in e with accent aigu as ez, er, or e without an accent (not sure why as these pages were written when the French were only in contact with the locals of the Gulf of Mexico;  however Nicholas de la Salle and de la Salle le jeune took the whole journal with them to France to be published--perhaps some of the French was corrected there, or perhaps another member of the expedition began commenting on de la Salle le jeune's French at this point!)

I might then consider a description field, "largely ending in the late 17th century although some features persisted into the eighteenth century."

I suppose this is too long.

I checked what I could find at:  (an index of texts; the ones I could access were Jesuit).

The following late 17th century and early 18th century documents still use 'oi' for 'ai:' (Canada; "Relation de ce qui s'est passé de plus remarquable dans la mission abnaquise de Sainct Joseph de Sillery et de Sainct François de Sales, l'année 1685"); (1700, Canada; Montigny, François Jolliet de.; Buisson, Jean-François de St. Cosme, 1667-1707. 
"Relation de la mission du Mississipi [sic] du Séminaire de Québec en 1700."
) (1701, Canada; Bigot, Vincent, 1649-1720.
"Relation de ce qui s'est passé de plus remarquable dans la mission des Abnaquis à L'Acadie, l'année 1701"); (1702 Canada; Bigot again).

A quick check at atilf suggests that 'oi' continued to be used for 'ai' until the end of the eighteenth century actually:

francoyse (Jean Nicot, 1606; see
francoise (Academie 1694; see
francoise (Academie 1798; see

academie francaise (Academie 1835; see

However 'coste' is listed in only the first two; and 'loing' is listed only in Nicot!  (See: to check on more words!)


C. E. Whitehead
cewcathar at 
> --
> Doug Ewell  |  Thornton, Colorado, USA  |
> RFC 5645, 4645, UTN #14  |  ietf-languages @ ­


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