Wiktionary talk:About Middle French

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J seems to be used in Modern transcriptions, but viewing Google Books, not the originals. Thoughts? Other than what's in the policy already. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:59, 9 November 2010 (UTC)

I've been working from s:fr:Essais, and it seems they've been a bit naughty in adding accents and using the j for example tousjours when in the original text it's tousiours. It's handy on Wikisource as scans of the original documents are included. Mglovesfun (talk) 18:51, 21 April 2012 (UTC)

Nasal vowels[edit]

If you look at, among others, s:fr:L’Arcadie, you'll see that the nasal vowel usually represented by on is õ, also an is ã and en is ê, as in humblemêt for humblement. It is standard to transcribe these with on, an, and en, so we have alimentation and not alimêntatiõ. I'm not sure if on/an/en is always a modernization or just that both systems were used in Middle French. Other than getting my hands on a lot of 15th and 16th Century French originals, I can't tell you. Mglovesfun (talk) 13:14, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

There seem to be different or debatable ways of expressing it. For example, opinion in the 1595 edition of Essais, Michel de Montaigne, seems to be something like opiniō and opiniõ a bit of a cross between the two! Fortunately that version (I mean the scans of the original, not the Wikisource transcription, which is noticeably different) seems to use both spellings, such as pẽſé and penſé for what we call pensé. Mglovesfun (talk) 08:54, 26 September 2012 (UTC)
See this diff of conseil. Have added the nasal vowel version - which does appear in actual manuscripts - but unlinked. This means that searches will for cõseil will turn up conseil, but with no entry for cõseil. Mglovesfun (talk) 19:36, 21 January 2013 (UTC)


Note on fr:Template:=frm= they've changed the dates from 1400-1600 to 1340 to 1611. The first change from 1400 to 1340 is pretty significant. I think in that case we have to realign, don't we? This agrees with w:Middle French and w:fr:Moyen français too. Obviously you can spend forever playing silly buggers with dates like this, but it's a rather attractive idea to have all four sites agreeing with each other. Mglovesfun (talk) 10:37, 12 August 2012 (UTC)


I've been looking at a few images of Froissart's Chroniques on Commons and also on the British Library website. Here's one on Commons: commons:File:Siège du château de Brest.jpg. A few things I've noticed:

  1. No capital letters, for example Brest is brest, Angleterre is angleterre and so on
  2. No apostrophes, so qu'il is quil and qu'on is quon
  3. No diacritics. In fact only one, the nasal vowel sign (see above) looks most like a macron but a bit like a tilde too. So traittié is trattie and esté is este
  4. No distinction between u and v, so ouvert is ouuert. I've argued before that there is a distinction just they are written identically. So it is actually ouvert where the v is of a rounded shape
  5. In at least some texts, there does seem to be a difference between i and j. So Jehan is real (actually spelled jehan and iehan because no capital letters)
  6. long s we already know about and cover

Mglovesfun (talk) 15:02, 18 January 2013 (UTC)

Sounds good, it's nice to have someone who has looked at manuscripts of this. Only thing I disagree with is 4, the convention in previous centuries with most languages was to use v at the start of a word and u in the middle, regardless of the sound being represented, and I think that's something we should respect when it comes to old spellings. My never-going-to-happen pipe dream as far as dates are concerned is that ideally frm would exist in etymologies only, and the actual entries would merge into =French= sections, with appropriate tags for those (fairly uncommon) cases where the form is different. Ƿidsiþ 06:31, 19 January 2013 (UTC)