Talk:berger

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Etymology[edit]

I removed the etymology that said it was from Latin *vervicellus, from vervex (ram). I don't think I should have done it so quickly, however, how can it be? The Latin /b/ becomes /v/ in Old French (like descrivre) not the other way round. We have a lot of words that come from unattested Latin words, where the Germanic counterparts are attested, but ignored or removed all together. Mglovesfun (talk) 12:08, 11 May 2010 (UTC)

  • What you have to remember is that in Proto-Romance, or Vulgar Latin, whatever you call it, "b" and "v" (ie /b/ and /w/) had both merged to /β/, so the two letters were not really distinguished in speech. So the change could go both ways, although in France it was mostly the other way, as you say. In this case the evidence is overwhelming though, because amazingly enough it's actually attested way back in the 7th century in the form "birbicarius" and "berbicarius", which point very strongly to VL *vervecarius, which would be a regular diminutive of vervex. Ƿidsiþ 12:40, 11 May 2010 (UTC)
    • I suppose the obvious question in that case would be 'where are the Romance cognates?' Mglovesfun (talk) 20:02, 6 July 2010 (UTC)