Attested diachronic changes
The Rule of Change
(So called because the word "change" resulted from it ;)) In proto-French, bia at the end of a word changed to ge, and mbia changed to nge.
- cambia → change
- salvia → *salbia (whence German Salbei) → *salge → sauge "sage (plant)"
- simia → *simbia → singe "monkey"
- fimbria → *frimbia → fringe
The Rule of the Maltese Bonfire
El milagro de la palabra lo salvó del peligro de la culebra. See Acts 28. In Spanish, VrVClV -> VlVCrV.
- miraculum → *miraglo → milagro
- parabola → *parabla → palabra
- periculum → *periglo → peligro
This happened at the same time as Portuguese split from Spanish, or in a race condition with the deletion of intervocalic l and n in Portuguese. The first two words are milagre and palavra, but perigo did not metathesize, but lost its l like cobra.
Anyone who has these words in Old Spanish or any attestation of French intermediate forms, please add. PierreAbbat 18:23, 29 December 2007 (PST)
Is this really metathesis? It seems it could also have gone like this:
- VrVCVlV → VrVClV (syncope) → VrVCrV (*Cl not otherwise permitted by this stage!) → VlVCrV (dissimilation)
Coordinating negative in French
French acquired a coordinating negative (it normally takes two words to simply negate a verb) by extension of je ne marche pas "I'm not walking a step" to all words.