History of French - Internal history - Vowels

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Structured data parsed from Wikipedia. Vowels The Vulgar Latin underlying French and most other Romance languages had seven vowels in stressed syllables (/a ɛ e i ɔ o u/, similar to the vowels of American English khat pet pate peat caught coat coot respectively), and five in unstressed syllables (/a e i o u/). Portuguese and Italian largely preserve this system, while Spanish has innovated only in converting /ɛ/ to /je/ and /ɔ/ to /we/, resulting in a simple five vowel system /a e i o u/. In French, however, numerous sound changes resulted in a system with 12 14 oral vowels and 3 4 nasal vowels (see French phonology). /a ɛ e i ɔ o u/ khat pet pate peat caught coat coot /a e i o u/ /ɛ/ /je/ /ɔ/ /we/ /a e i o u/ Perhaps the most salient characteristic of French vowel history is the development of a strong stress accent — usually ascribed to the influence of the Germanic languages — that led to the disappearance of most unstressed vowels and to pervasive differences in the pronunciation of stressed vowels in originally open vs. closed syllables (where a closed syllable is a syllable that was followed by two or more consonants in Vulgar Latin, whereas an open syllable was followed by at most one consonant). It is commonly thought that stressed vowels in open syllables were lengthened, after which most of the long vowels turned into diphthongs. The loss of unstressed vowels, particularly those after the stress, ultimately produced the situation in Modern French where the accent is uniformly found on the last syllable of a word. (Ironically, in Modern French the stress accent is quite weak, with little difference between the pronunciation of stressed and unstressed vowels.) Unstressed vowels Unstressed vowels Vulgar Latin had five vowels in unstressed syllables: /a e i o u/. When these occurred word finally, all were lost in Old French except for /a/, which turned into a schwa (written e): /a e i o u/ /a/ e

Data Source : WIKIPEDIA
Number of Data columns : 3 Number of Data rows : 5
Categories : economy, demography, politics, knowledge


Data row number Latin Vulgar Latin French

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Data Columns

Name Description Data Type
Latin text
Vulgar Latin text
French text

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