Wiktionary:About Middle French

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Middle French is the language that falls between Old French and Modern French. The main distinctions between Middle French, Old French and Modern French include the loss of the nominative/oblique case system, and the use of the 'y' where Modern French would use an 'i'.

Criteria for inclusion of terms[edit]

Terms must be attestable per Wiktionary:Criteria for inclusion between 1340 and 1609. From 1610 onward, this is considered Modern French. The choice of these two specific years is to align the English Wiktionary with the English Wikipedia, the French Wikipedia and the French Wiktionary. Other than this, it is somewhat arbitrary.

Lemma forms[edit]

Lemma forms resemble Modern French.

  • Nouns are classed under the singular, or the masculine singular for nouns with masculine and feminine forms (amy/amye)
  • Verb are classed under the infinitive
  • Adjectives are classed under the masculine singular form.
  • Adverb, prepositions, conjunction, interjections are pronouns are usually invariable.


  • The most important factor in deciding which spellings to include is WT:CFI#Attestation, specifically "For terms in extinct languages: usage in at least one contemporaneous source." That is to say, any attested orthography may be included. The current consensus is that normalized forms, the ones used by scholars which include additional capital letters and diacritics, should be prioritized as the ones Wiktionary users are most likely to come across. Normalized forms are the ones used in printed books and on the Internet, where non-normalized forms only occur in the original manuscripts.
This excerpt from Lancelot du Lac (1488) predates the use of acute accents in Middle French, hence 'arrive' (second line, 6th word) and 'clarte' (final word) instead of 'arrivé' and 'clarté'. Note also the lowercase 'l' of 'lancelot' the long s, and the same glyph for the 'v' or 'arrivé' and the 'u' or 'luy'.
  • Where possible, the original orthography should be verified, for example from a screen shot of the original source. Where multiple copies of a text using different orthography are available, all attestable spellings of a word are permitted. For example, iecter and ietter are both found in printed sources between 1340 and 1609, so both are allowable.
  • 'I' and 'j' are both used for the modern consonant 'j' in Middle French, so spellings with both are included when attested. It is advisable to use {{alternative form of||lang=frm}} wherever practical to reduce duplication. For example jecter has the definition {{alternative form of|iecter|lang=frm}}.
  • Cedillas are allowed on the letter c (ç) immediately before a, o and u.
  • The standard Latin s (s) is preferred to the long s (ſ), which should not be used at all in Middle French entries. This is because the long s is considered a typographical variant of the Latin s, rather than as a separate letter.
  • Many of the diacritics Modern French use appear during the Middle French period. All attested spellings are permitted, for example durée and duree. The acute accent on a final 'e' to represent /e/ and on the string 'es' at the end of a word to represent /es/ are recommended. This is to align with modern French orthography and Wiktionary:About Old French. The acute comes into use during the Middle French period, but scholars always use é to represent /e/ at the end of a word (or only followed by s). It is advisable to use {{alternative form of||lang=frm}} wherever practical to reduce duplication.
  • Likewise, the ligature œ appears in late Middle French.
  • Discretion may be used with respect to capitalization. For example MAISON as the first word of a chapter should be listed at maison, not MAISON.
  • The 'nasal' vowels 'ã', 'ẽ' (sometimes 'ê' or 'ē'), 'ĩ' and 'õ' are transcribed as 'an', 'en' and 'on' respectively, with the exception of before b, m and p when they are transcribed as 'am', 'em', 'im', 'om'. for example 'bõne' is rendered as bonne, but 'tẽps' is rendered as temps. The tilde forms aren't obligatory in Middle French, so often tẽps and temps will appear in the same text, even a couple of lines apart. But see manuscript forms below (last bullet point).
  • The letters 'u' and 'v' are often both written as 'u' in Middle French texts, or both written as 'v'. This is to be interpreted as a stylistic choice rather than When pronounced /v/ it should be rendered as 'v' and not 'u'. For example trouuer should be rendered as trouver. This is because trouuer is a typographical variant of trouver rather than a different spelling of it. Similarly, trovver would not be allowed for the same reason.
  • There is no rule to exclude manuscript/original edition forms such as tẽps (tilde form), espaigne (proper noun with lowercase initial letter) or attachie (attachié without an acute on the final é). However, such forms should not be prioritized after normalized spellings. It is customary (but not a rule) to create the normalized spelling first, such as temps ‎(time) and link in alternative forms to tẽps.


==Middle French==

{{etyl|fro|frm}} {{term|doute|lang=fro}}, etymologically reconstructed to resemble {{etyl|la|frm}} {{term|dubitus|lang=la}}{{attention|la|what is the Latin root?}}


# [[doubt]]
#* {{quote-book|passage=Tressainct Pere, L’esperance que j’ay de la paternelle affection que porterés tousjours {{...}} a tellement vaincu le '''doubte''' qu’aultrement je pouvois avoir de la juste severité de Vostre Saincteté|author=[[wikipedia:Henry IV of France|Henri IV]]|year=1572|title=Lettres Missives}}

{{head|frm|verb form}}

# {{conjugation of|doubter||1|s|pres|ind|lang=frm}}
# {{conjugation of|doubter||3|s|pres|ind|lang=frm}}
# {{conjugation of|doubter||1|s|pres|sub|lang=frm}}
# {{conjugation of|doubter||1|s|pres|sub|lang=frm}}
# {{conjugation of|doubter||2|s|imp|lang=frm}}



  • http://www.books.google.fr, using the 'Recherche avancée' (advanced research) function, select from 1340 to 1609 to include only Middle French books. However, Google Books does not always have its dates right, for example it might pick up a modern version of a text originally written in the 1340-1609 period
  • http://micmap.org/dicfro/chercher/dictionnaire-godefroy, an 'Old French' dictionary which includes words at least up to 1609
  • The French Wikisource, a good source of durably archived Middle French texts.
  • Gallica, online digital library.

Appropriate sources for a single mention[edit]

Per WT:CFI#Attestation, dead languages may have entries based on a single mention, if this mention is from "materials deemed appropriate as the only sources for entries based on a single mention". The following are considered such source

  • Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe siècle (Godefroy, Frédéric). Dependent of dates given with the citations, since it does not distinguish between Old and Middle French.
  • http://www.cnrtl.fr/etymologie, dependent on the dates given with the citations.

See also[edit]