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Full text of "The Loom Of Language"

246

The Loom of Language

The compound consonant ąt has made way for t* The preceding vowel
then carries a circumflex accent., as in the examples below The change
began in the eleventh century^ but a mute S before T persisted in
written French till the reforms of 1740

Another specifically Old French sound-change has also cropped up
in preceding tables The modern Fiench C is a hard (K) sound only
before a> 0, and u Otherwise it stands for s Where C preceded a in
Latin words it softened to the sh sound in shif>3 spelt CH in French
orthography (cf, ckamon, champagm\ as in the following.

POIUUGUKSK

cavalo
lisa
ra

cabc%a

cousa

In many English woids derived from French this initial CH conceals
correspondence with the Spanish or Italian equivalent It does $o, for
instance, in those below

LAI IN
	I1ALIAN
	SPANISH

caballo
	cavallo
	caballo

camibia
	camicia
	cai

capra capite caro
	capra capo
	cat cabc/a caio

causa
	CO
	sa

nuiNcn
	I'NGLISII

CI1EVAL
	hone

CHEMISE
	ihirt

OHfeVRr
	goal

CJIL**
	head

cmR
	dear

GHOSIJ
	thing

LA UN
	SPANISH
	Jt'RFNCt!
	ENGLISH

calefacerc
	calentar
	chaufler
	chafe

cambio
	cambio
	change
	change

campionc
	campc6n
	champion
	champion

cancellario
	canciller
	chancclicr
	chatuclloi

cantare
	cantar
	chanter
	ehattr

capitulo
	capitulo
	chapitre
	chapter

captiarc
	caxax
	cliasser
	chaw

cantate
	cantad
	char it 6
	chanty

*  carta
	carta
	chattc
	chart

casto
	caste
	chaste
	chaste

Another characteristically French sound-shift recalls what happened
in Middle English and is still going on in Scandinavian dialects. Be-
tween two vowels g softened to y or z or disappeared* Hence we get
English old-new couplets such as royal-rega^ Iqyal-bgfa frail-fragile,
(The English pronunciation of royal and loyal is a survival of the Old
French stage*) Examples are in the following table*
* In a metaphorical sense The anatomical head *s la t(te.