Attested diachronic changes

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Sound 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)

--Trɔpʏliʊmblah 19:28, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Morphological changes

Syntactic changes

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.

Semantic changes