Old French and Middle French

With the Romanization of Gaul, a process that lasted into the 5th century AD, the Latin language in the form of Vulgar Latin (Latin language) was introduced in the 2nd century BC. In the later Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis, since the conquest by Caesar 58–51 BC. Widespread in the rest of Gaul. The variant of Latin spoken north of the Loire differed from that south of this line due to the less intensive Romanization of the north due to the stronger influence of Celtic substrate languages (especially Gallic, of which remnants mainly in place names and proper names, e.g. Virodunum> Verdun, Lugdunum> Lyon, as well as being preserved in terms of rural culture).

Since the emergence of Germanic empires on Gallic soil (Tolosan Empire of the Visigoths south of the Loire, Burgundy Empire in the east and Franconian Empire north of the Loire), the linguistic differentiation between the north and the south has been promoted. The Franconian language acted as a superstrat north of the zone between Loire, Somme and Meuse on the Gallo-Roman, what v. a. affected vocabulary; numerous terms from the legal (fief »fiefdom«, ban »bann«), administrative (maréchal »marshal«) and military (haubert »armored shirt«, garde »guard«, guerre »war«) area as well as the areas of house building, apartment (salle »hall«, auberge »hostel«, fauteuil »armchair«) and agriculture (blé »grain«, troupeau »herd«) are of Franconian origin. In addition, Franconian also influenced the phonological system of Gallo-Roman, especially through the – in French up to the 16th and 17th centuries. Century as a spirant and still articulated today in some dialects – “h aspiré”, which prevents the connection of a consonant to the subsequent word starting with “h” (e.g. in honte “shame”, “shame”). In addition, the Normans, who in the 9th

In the Franconian Empire “lingua theotisca” (German language) and “lingua rustica romana” (Gallo-Roman language) coexisted for around three centuries. Since Vulgar Latin was subject to rapid changes, it was no longer understood by the population in general as early as the 8th century. The Council of Tours (813) therefore called on the priests to use the “rusticam romanam linguam sive theotiscam” (that is, either Gallo-Roman or German) in sermons and lessons. Nevertheless, the primacy of Latin as the language of instruction, church, administration and science remained throughout the Middle Ages.

Already in the 7th / 8th In the 19th century, the north and south of what is now France were clearly differentiated linguistically; in the north the “langue d’oïl” emerged, the starting point for today’s French, in the south the “langue d’oc”, theOccitan language (“oïl” and “oc” are the respective forms of the affirmative particles). A linguistic transition zone, the Franco-Occitan, developed between north and south (Dauphiné, Lyonnais, Bresse, Savoy, Aosta Valley), which corresponded to Occitan in vocalism and northern French in consonantism.

According to educationvv, the first written evidence in Old French are the old French formulas in the “Strasbourg Eiden” (842) and the “Eulaliasesequence” (around 881). Old French shows significant changes compared to Vulgar Latin: in the phonetic system, among others. Change of main tone vowels in open syllables (e.g. pena> peine), extensive fading of vowels in unstressed syllable, weakening of the final “a” to “e”, anticipation of nasalization in the vowels preceding the nasal consonants, palatalization of “k” and “g” before “a” and “au” (e.g. Carolus> Charles, causa> chose), sonorisation (sometimes also fading) of intervocal plosives (e.g. securus> seur) and reduction of consonants im Wording (e.g. murum> mur); the sound change of the main tone vowels in the open syllable led among other things. also for changing the stem vowel in verbal inflection, which was partly omitted in later French, e.g. B. Old French (je) pleure versus (nous) plorons. The morphological structure showed (after the loss of the Latin neuter) only two genera and a two-caustic system with two numbers (singular and plural).

In the 13th century the sound system and morphology were further simplified: the sibilants lost the dental element, e.g. B. in Charles ([t ʃ -]> [ ʃ -]); The extensive disappearance of the final consonants led to the loss of the two-case system in the noun (as a rule, the object case prevailed over the subject case), the “s” (which was no longer spoken at this point) became a plural character. The reduction of the phonetic and morphological system made it necessary to fix the syntactic sequence (subject-predicate-object) and mark the noun with articles.

In the 14th and 15th centuries there was a tendency to simplify the phonetic inventory (among other things through the disappearance of the unstressed “e” in the interior of the word and the reduction of double and triple vowels (e.g. seur> sur, new French sûr) and to compensate for forms (e.g. through the phonetic alignment of the personal endings in the verb as a result of the silence of the final “e”); in addition to the increase in the use of articles in the noun due to the reduction in the word structure (and the thus omitted distinguishing function of the earlier endings), (from the same Grund) the verb forms are characterized by pronouns.

A generally binding written language did not yet exist in the old French period; there were different, partly literary important dialects, including the Norman (the spoken in England version of the Anglo-Norman, the language of the old FrenchRoland song), the Champagnische (language of courtly epic poems of C. de Troyes ), the Picardy (which is A. de la Halle and Rutebeuf, among others served), Burgundian, Lorraine and Walloon as well as French, the dialect of the Île-de-France. With the increase in power and land of the French crown since the 13th century and the beginning of the development of a centralized royal administration and jurisdiction, the French achieved a primacy with a model function.

Old French and Middle French