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A Handbook of the English Language by Latham

Lou plus pichoun digu 'e t a son paeir 'e


14. Abord qu'il o eu tout bu, tout mi['e] et tout dr['e]l['e], il o v'nu adonc dains ch' pahis lo ainn' famaine cruueelle, et i c'mainchonait d'avoir fon-ye d' pon-ye (i.e. faim de pain).

II.

THE SAME.

11. Un hom['e] avi['e] dous enfans.

12. Lou plus pichoun digu['e]t a son paeir['e], "Moun paeir['e], dounas mi ce qu[`e] mi reven de vouastr['e] ben;" lou pair['e] faguet lou partag['e] de tout ce que pouss['e]davo.

13. Paou do jours apr[`e]s, lou pichoun vend['e]t tout se qu[`e] soun paeir['e] li avi['e] desamparat, et s'en an['e]t d['i]ns un paeis fourco luench, ount['e] dissip['e]t tout soun ben en debaucho.

14. Quand agu['e]t tou arcaba, uno grosso famino arribet dins aqueou paeis et, leou, si vegu['e]t reduech [`a] la derniero mis[`e]ro.

Practically speaking, although in the central parts of France the northern and southern dialects melt into each other, the Loire may be considered as a line of demarcation between two languages; the term language being employed because, in the Middle Ages, whatever may be their real difference, their northern tongue and the southern tongue were dealt with not as separate dialects, but as distinct languages--the southern being called Provencal, the

northern Norman-French.

Of these two languages (for so they will in the following pages be called, for the sake of convenience) the southern, or Provencal, approaches the dialects of Spain; the Valencian of Spain and the Catalonian of Spain being Provencal rather than standard Spanish or Castilian.

The southern French is sometimes called the Langue d'Oc, and sometimes the Limousin.

s. 68. The Norman-French, spoken from the Loire to the confines of Flanders, and called also the Langue d'Oyl, differed from the Provencal in (amongst others) the following circumstances.

1. It was of later origin; the southern parts of Gaul having been colonized at an early period by the Romans.

2. It was in geographical contact, not with the allied languages of Spain, but with the Gothic tongues of Germany and Holland.

s. 69. It is the Norman-French that most especially bears upon the history of the English language.

_Specimen from the Anglo-Norman poem of Charlemagne._

Un jur fu Karl['e]un al Seint-Denis muster, Reout prise sa corune, en croiz seignat sun chef; E ad ceinte sa esp['e]e: li pons fud d'or mer. Dux i out e dermeines e baruns e chevalers. Li emper[`e]res reguardet la reine sa muillers. Ele fut ben corun['e]e al plus bel e as meuz. Il la prist par le poin desuz un oliver, De sa pleine parole la prist [`a] reisuner: "Dame, v['e]istes unkes hume nul de desuz ceil Tant ben s['e]ist esp['e]e no la corone el chef! Uncore cunquerrei-jo citez ot mun espeez." Cele ne fud pas sage, folement respondeit: "Emperere," dist-ele, trop vus poez preiser. "Uncore en sa-jo un ki plus se fait l['e]ger, Quant il porte corune entre ses chevalers; Kaunt il met sur sa teste, plus belement lui set"

In the northern French we must recognise not only a Celtic and a Classical, but also a Gothic element: since Clovis and Charlemagne were no Frenchmen, but Germans. The Germanic element in French has still to be determined.


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