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From: John Cowan <>
Subject: [COFF] Fwd: [TUHS] Re: Warning: April Fools
Date: Sun, 2 Apr 2023 11:53:03 -0400	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

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I sent this to coff, but it bounced.  Trying again.

[-tuhs] [+coff]

On Sun, Apr 2, 2023 at 3:39 AM Noel Hunt <> wrote:

Charles li reis, nostre emperesdre magnes, Set anz totz pleinz ad ested in
> Espagnes.
> A translation would be most helpful. It looks like a mixture
> of Spanish and Mediaevel French...ah, it is the La Chanson de
> Roland.

Yes, it's Old French, and means "Charles the king, our great emperor[*] /
Seven full years has been in Spain."  You pronounce it pretty much like
Spanish, except for the "z" which is pronounced "ts".

[*] Old French had two noun cases, nominative and oblique (a combination of
the Latin genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative).  In 99% of modern
French nouns, only the oblique survives.  In particular, "emperesdre" is
the old nominative of "empereor"; it survives today in the name
"L[']empriere".  A dozen nouns picked up different semantics in the
nominative and both survived: sire/seigneur, prêtre/Provoire (proper name),
copain/compagnon, pâtre/pasteur, chantre/chanteur , maire/majeur,
gars/garçon, and (most surprising) on/homme. In a few nouns, only the
nominative survives: soeur, peintre, traître (English traitor is from the
oblique), and the names Charles, Georges, James (now in English only),
Hugues, Marie, and Eve.


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      parent reply	other threads:[~2023-04-02 15:53 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 2+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
     [not found] <>
2023-04-02  0:08 ` [COFF] Re: [TUHS] " steve jenkin
     [not found] ` <>
     [not found]   ` <>
     [not found]     ` <>
2023-04-02 15:53       ` John Cowan [this message]

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