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The Morpho-Syntax of Latin and Old French: The Loss of a Case System


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1 THE MORPHO-SYNTAX OF LATIN AND OLD FRENCH: THE LOSS OF A CASE SYSTEM By KRISTIN PRISCILLA HODGE A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2006

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2 Copyright 2006 by Kristin Priscilla Hodge

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3 To my mother, who has always been there for me

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4 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First and foremost, I thank my parents for al ways being so supportiv e in my studies. I thank Marie Virginia Fisher for inspiring me to both learn and further my studies of the French language. I would like to especially thank Dr. Mario Aldana for inspiring me to teach the language.

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5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........6 FIGURE......................................................................................................................... ..................8 ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... ..............9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .10 2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND...........................................................................................12 3 GRAMMATICAL EXPLANATION.....................................................................................24 Morpho-Syntax.................................................................................................................. .....24 Latin Case System.............................................................................................................. ....24 Old French Case System......................................................................................................... 33 Comparison of the Two Case Systems...................................................................................40 4 CONCLUSION................................................................................................................... ....43 LIST OF REFERENCES............................................................................................................. ..45 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................46

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6 LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1 First declension noun endings............................................................................................27 3-2 First declension noun femina, -ae ......................................................................................27 3-3 Second declension noun endings.......................................................................................28 3-4 Second declension noun amicus, ....................................................................................28 3-5 Second declension neuter noun endings............................................................................28 3-6 Second declension neuter noun templum, declination....................................................28 3-7 Third declension noun endings..........................................................................................29 3-8 Third declension i stem noun endings.............................................................................29 3-9 Third declension noun urbs, urb s .....................................................................................29 3-10 Third declension neuter noun mare, -is .............................................................................29 3-11 Fourth declension noun endings........................................................................................30 3-12 Fourth declension neuter noun endings.............................................................................30 3-13 Fourth declension noun fructus, -us ...................................................................................30 3-14 Fourth declension neuter noun corn ,s ..........................................................................30 3-15 Fifth declension noun endings...........................................................................................31 3-16 Fifth declension noun di s, die .........................................................................................31 3-17 First and second declension adjective endings..................................................................32 3-18 First/second declension adjective clarus, clara, clarum ....................................................32 3-19 Type 1 and type 2 Old French masculine nouns, cas sujet and cas rgime.......................34 3-20 Type 1 and type 2 Old French fe minine nouns, cas sujet and cas rgime.........................34 3-21 Old French masculine adjective buens ..............................................................................36 3-22 Old French feminine adjective buene ................................................................................36 3-23 Case endings of Old French type 1 adjectives...................................................................36

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7 3-24 Old French masculine adjective grans ...............................................................................37 3-25 Old French feminine adjective grans .................................................................................37 3-26 Case endings of Old French type 2 adjectives...................................................................37

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8 FIGURE Figure page 2-1 Map of the expansion of Roman power in Europe (Lodge, 1997, p. 50)..........................23

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9 Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts THE MORPHO-SYNTAX OF LATIN AND OL D FRENCH: THE LOSS OF A CASE SYSTEM By Kristin Priscilla Hodge December 2006 Chair: William Calin Major Department: French This research deals with the morpho-syntactic features of both Latin and Old French. An examination of the noun and adjective case syst ems for both languages is given. First, a historical background shows why Latin is related to French. The n, a grammatical examination of the declension systems of both Latin and Old Fren ch is provided. Finally, a comparison of the two languages is given.

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10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION When one studies a language, it is important th at all aspects of the language are examined. Culture, grammar, phonetics, and vocabulary are but a few of the most common aspects of language that one generally thi nks about studying, but one can al so go much deeper into the linguistic aspects of the language. One area of these linguistic aspects is the history of the languages development. Histor ical linguistics centers on the ch anges that occur throughout the life of a language. Studying the origin and the way that a language once worked is one way to better understand the way that it works in its mo dern form. Understanding why specific words are spelled one way as opposed to another or why th e subject is always placed in a specific place can help make the language clearer and mo re interesting to the one studying it. Languages do not appear overnig ht. French, like any language, took centuries to develop. Instead of instantly appearing, it went through many stages of transformation. The French language, along with all of the Ro mance Languages, comes from Latin origins. From its Latin roots, it was influenced by Germanic tribes and formed into what is known as Old French. From there, it transformed even more. The 17th century brought about the Cl assical Age of the French language, which was followed by the modern Fr ench that is spoken today in France. When studying a language in detail, it is impor tant to understand from where it comes. Just as the history of a country or a continent is impor tant to the historian or the politician, the history of a language is essential to the linguist. Otherwise, it is nearly impossible to understand why one says something the way one does today. It is important to those who study the modern language of French in detail to understand why an e is used to make the feminine in most adjectives or why an s is used to mark the plur al. Likewise, it would help the French linguist to study Latin, since French developed out of Lati n. Understanding how much larger of a case

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11 system Latin has and how it gradually became reduced in size can help one who studies Old French better understand why the case system of Old French is so truncated in comparison. The fact that Latins six cases are reduced to two in Old French and then to none in modern French is a phenomenon that one who studies French should understand, because without this knowledge one could mistakenly think that the French languag e begins with Old French. Knowing the languages origin a nd understanding its language of origin helps the Old French scholar better understand as a whole the entire ev olution of the French la nguage. The fact that Latin evolved in a similar way, using fewer and fewe r of its cases, is also important. The fact that Old French reduced the case system to two cases can help explain why later on it was reduced to none. This thesis will deal first with the histor ical background behind Old French. Why it comes from Latin and why Latin was spoken in Gaul in the first place are bu t two of the topics addressed in the historical b ackground. Variations in the di alects spoken throughout Gaul are also examined. The grammar section takes an in-depth look at the La tin case system of nouns and adjectives. It also looks at the case system of nouns and adj ectives of Old French. Finally, the grammar segment makes a comparison of the Latin and Old French case systems.

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12 CHAPTER 2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Latin and French have a relationship which has lasted more than a millennium. French finds its roots with the Latin language, even de spite its many changes th rough the centuries. In order to examine these changes, it is necessary to begin with a study of Old French because it is the version of French through al l of the centuries th at is closest to Latin. There are many phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical changes from Latin to Old French. This study will examine the morpho-syntactical differen ces between the language of origin, Latin, and the new language, Old French. In other words, one will study the eventual loss of the case system in Old French. In order to fully understand the grammatical changes of the morphosyntax from Latin to Old French, one must unders tand first and foremost why Latin is pertinent to Old French and why one spoke Latin in the region of Gaul before one spoke French. The question of non-roman influences on the orig in of Old French is also important. Before the Romans entered Gaul, Galois (Gaulish) was spoken in the region that is now France. Gaulish was a Celtic language. When the Gauls entered the region of Gaul, there were other populations living there already, mainly the Ligurians, the Iberians and the Aquitainians. The languages that these peoples spoke were not of Indo-European origin. It is difficult to determine where the languages of the Ligurians and the Iberians came from, since they no longer exist. The language of the Aquitains is know n only through the Basque language which exists today and has its origins in the language of the Aquitains. As to the language of the Gauls themselves, modern linguists know little about it since there are few written records of the language. The Druids refused to write any of th eir beliefs, so the traditional transmission of writing through the clergy is non-existent for this society. The Gaulish records that do exist are

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13 items such as calendars, which do not tell mode rn linguists much about the structure of the language itself. While Gaulish did not have a large influe nce on Old French, it did still have some influence. In modern French, there are a tota l of around 200 words of Gau lish origin. Most of these terms, such as valet, vassal, and cheval, de al with the rural aspect s of life. Since these words still exist today, once can logically deduce that Gaulish had some influence. Perhaps the most likely influence Gaulish had on Old French is its nasality. Both French and Portuguese were influenced by Celtic La nguages, and both languages gained more nasal sounds as a result. In Middle French, vowels which were followed by a nasal consonant became nasalized. This particular nasalization is still in place today in modern French; however, the loss of the final nasal consonant took place we ll after the time fram e of Old French. So why was Latin spoken in Gaul? Ne dans lIle de France, rgion dont le patois na jamais t que la variante populaire du franais, notre langue est avant tout lhritire directe du latin import en Gaule par les conqurants roma ins (Allires, 1982, p. 5). One can easily say that Latin entered into Gaul b ecause of Julius Cesar. Perhaps the best-known and the most powerful leader of the Roman Republic, he reunited all of Gaul under Roman power. In the first century B.C., the Roman Republic contained a larg e portion of Europe as well as several other Mediterranean territories. Figure 2-1 shows the extensiven ess Romes power throughout Europe, both as the Roman Repub lic and as the Roman Empire. When this new government appeared in Gaul it brought with it its language. As the language of civilization and the language of government, Latin eas ily found its place in Gaul: Les Romains nont eu recours aucu n moyen tyrannique pour imposer leur langue. Mais le latin tait la langue officielle du gouve rnement et il reprsentait la civilisation. Ctait de ux raisons qui lui assuraient une supriorit crasante. (Wartburg, 1962, p. 22)

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14 Another reason that Latin took such a large hold in the civilization of Gaul was due to its schools. At the beginning of the Roman civ ilization, the education of the children was the responsibility of the parents. The sons went w ith their fathers to the fields, and the daughters stayed with their mothers in the home. Little by little, they adopted the education system of the Greeks. When Cesar took his soldiers into Ga ul and conquered it, he also took with him the Roman culture and the education system which wa s popular at the time. Because the Gauls did not have a school system, they sent their sons to the new Roman schools in order to educate them: Les Gaulois navaient aucune institution de ce genre. Celui qui aspirait, pour lui ou pour ses enfants, un degr de civ ilisation plus avanc se voyait dans la ncessit de recourir lin struction que lon donnait dans les coles romains. . cest surtout par lcole que le Gauloi s est devenu Romain. (Wartburg, 1962, pp. 22-23) These young boys learned Latin in school, and li ttle by little this language became even more important than Gaulish, the indigenous lang uage of Gaul. It is because Latin was the language of Rome, which was synonymous with cu lture and political powe r, that there was a need in the homes of the elite families of Gaul to learn Latin. It is obvious then that Latin held an important seat in Gaul at that time, but it is also important to note that there was a situation of diglossia in Gaul when it was under Romes rule, probably due to the distance between Rome and Gaul. Lodge (1997) says Plus loin de Rome, certaines communau ts comme celles de la Gaule connurent longtemps une situation de diglossie, le la tin jouant le rle de langue officielle tandis que les nombreux vernaculaires lo caux subsistaient pour les besoins des populations du cru. (p. 52) Even though the school had an important role in the spread of Latin in Gaul, it was probably the case that the diffusion of Latin was the result of the spoken language and not the

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15 written language. The Latin that was spoken in Gaul at that time is traditionally called Vulgar Latin. This title comes from the Latin noun vulgus which means the people. Vulgar Latin therefore means the Latin of the people, and not the so-called Classical Latin of the traditional Latin literature of authors such as Cesar, Ci cero, and Virgil. Wartbur g (1962) cites Meillet, saying Le latin vulgaire est devenu quelque chose que les hommes les pl us varis et les moins cultivs pouvaient manier, un outil commode, bon pour toutes mains. (p. 35) Before passing straight from Latin to Old Fr ench, there was a period of dialectization of le gallo-roman in Gaul. In the fifth century A.D., there were many Germanic invasions which menaced and in effect diminished the power of th e Romans in Gaul. There was therefore at this time a refragmentation of Gaul. The centralit y that the Roman Empire had brought to Gaul disappeared, and the spoken language became different in different regions. In the north, there was what was called la langue dol (today, French) and in th e south what was called la langue doc (today, Occitan). The principal difference between these two gallo-r omance dialects is le rsultat de ladoption des formes linguistique s nouvelles des rythmes diffrents (Lodge, 1997, p. 81). In the north, there was a tendency to adopt new forms, while in the south there was a tendency to conserve the old forms. The fragmentation of the Roman Empire was one of the causes of the dialectization of Vulgar Latin. Cerquiglini (1993) says Rome et sa langue perdent du prestige, au profit des varits rgionales et provinciales, au travers desquelles une appartenance nouvelle se fait jour. Et la disparition des coles publiques, au plus ta rd la fin du Ve sicle, contribua sans aucun doute la perte de prestige dont sou ffrit rapidement le latin et la culture romaine. (p. 30)

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16 The schools which had disseminated the Latin la nguage disappeared. Since the civilization that was thought of as the best civilization in the world was no longer present, its prestige would also no longer be present. It is therefore evident that Latin had a larg e influence on the origins of French, but Latin also had influence on the origins of many Europ ean languages. But these other languages are much closer in linguistic terms to Latin than is Fr ench. If Gaul was closer to Italy than Spain, for example, why then is French so much further linguistically from Latin? There are two relatively simple answers to this question. Firs t of all, there is the time period when France became a Roman province. Ro me had already gained the Iberian Peninsula as a province. They were looking for a sort of bridge between Italy and Spain that their merchants and their soldiers could use to trav el between the two regions. Because Gaul found itself to be situated between these two regions, it rapidly became this terrestrial bridge. Because the Romans did not come to Gaul until a period mu ch later than they came to other areas of Europe, Latin was not present in Gaul when it was already in use in these other regions. Latin evolved as all human languages do, and the Latin that the Romans introduced into Spain was more like Classical Latin. The Latin that they introduced into Gaul was more evolved and had different characteristics. The Latin language th at was introduced there was therefore further evolved when it first appeared in Gaul. Another reason that French is different from the other Romance Languages is the fact that there were many barbaric invasions in Gaul. These invasions c ontributed to the fall of the Roman Empire. The term barbaric itself means foreign. These barbaric invasions did not begin and end quickly. Instead, they were prolonged over a time span of many years. These

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17 migrations helped contribute to the fall of the la st emperor in the Orient in 476. These Germanic invaders were not well organized, and so the Ro mans often used one group against another. When the Empire began to distinguish itself, the Vulgar Latin spoken in each province of the Empire evolved in different ways because of the different influences in each location. The process of this disintegration was slow, but the results were the many different Romance Languages, several of which still exist today. After the fall of Ro me, these regions were isolated. Cerquiglini (1993) says Ce qui distingue le franais des autres langues romanes, et qui a sans doute distingu trs tt le latin dont il est issu, est le contact avec le celte dune part, avec la langue germanique dautre part. (p. 31-32) It was during this era that the proto-language dol and the proto-language doc appeared. There was therefore a unique situation in the re gion which is today France which produced these dialects that later became French. These barbaric invasions of the Germanic peop les started in the fourth century, but it was not until the fall of Rome that they had a great influence on the language spoken in Gaul. The invasions continued for centuries. The three principal groups who established themselves in Gaul were the Franks, the Visigoths, and the Burgundians. All of these th ree peoples were German ic, but they all spoke different Germanic dialects. There were al so other non-Germanic groups who had important influences on the French language. The main non-Germanic influence came from the Bretons during this time period. Because all of thes e different groups of people spoke different languages and had different customs, it is necessary to study them region by region. The region that is located in the north of Gaul was the regi on affected the most by the invasions. The main invasion in this area was that of the Franks. It is easy to see even today that

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18 the Franks had a large influence on the French language, just by looking at the modern-day name of the region of Gaul: France. When they inva ded, the Franks were looking for neither political nor military power. They were farmers above all el se. In reality, they did not even truly invade Gaul; they simply began migrating toward the so uth of Gaul. The Fra nks were divided into many smaller groups which were not very well orga nized until the unificat ion of Clovis. The Franks did not force their language on the Gauls: Comme les Gaulois avant eux, les Francs ressentirent la cultu re latine comme bien des gards suprieure la leur. Mais dans les domaines de la vie o cela ne leur paraissent pas tre le cas, ils introduisirent un grand nombre de mots emprunts au francique. (Lodge, 1997, p. 93) Lodge shows in this citation that the Franks adopted the language of the people who were already present in Gaul; but the language becam e more decentralized once they arrived into Gaul. In terms of vocabulary, the Franks contribute d many military terms to Old French. They also gave French some political terminology such as baron There are also a large number of names of plants that are of Frankish origin. Some examples include le houx and le cresson Clothing articles were also among the vo cabulary terms contributed by the Franks: le gant and la poche for example. In total, the Franks gave th e French language over 200 terms. The Franks also used to decline their proper names, whic h is one reason why the tradition of declining proper names continued into Old French. Many suffi xes in French are also of Frankish origin: ard and aud for example. The Visigoths used their military superiority in order to establish a kingdom which was semi-independent and which had its capital in To ulouse. This kingdom was allied with Rome. The more heavily populated concentrations of the Visigoths were noticeably around Toulouse. The Visigoths, like the Franks, had an influenc e of decentralization on the language, but la

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19 contribution directe des Wisigoths lvolution linguistique de lAquitaine semble avoir t pratiquement nulle (Lodge, 1997, p. 95). Because th is region had a sort of independence from the kingdom of the Franks, it was isolated to a great er degree from the rest of Gaul. The Latin language had therefore evolved at a slower rate in this area than in the north. The Visigoths also did not impose their language on the people of th is region. The fact that the region remained relatively stable and continued its traditional social structures left Latin to be the main language here for much longer than in other regions of what is today France. Overall, this Visigoths had little influence on the Old French language. The region between le Jura a nd the Mediterranean Sea was located much closer to the Germanic world. It was filled with invasions even before the fall of Rome because of its location. This region kept its cust oms and habits for nearly three cen turies after the fall of Rome. It is because of this fact that the Latin that wa s spoken in this region was not very different from the Latin spoken in what is today Italy. The Burgundians invaded the region between Lyon and Geneva. This Germanic people stayed allied with the Romans throughout the entire duration of the Roman Empire. They adopted the legal system of Rome ; however, in the end the Franks annexed the region in 536. During the time of the Burgundians, the region re tained many of its traditional habits. The Burgundians themselves adapted to the Roman cu lture that was present in the region. Lodge (1997) says that a bilingualism of Burgundian and Latin was present in the region among the elite population of both Burgundian and Latin origin. Eventually, the Burgundians adapted completely to the Roman culture that was presen t, and their language intermingled with it as well.

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20 The Bretons came from Great Britain in the fift h century, but as a result of the invasion of their own territory by the Saxons. This people ha d a large influence on the spoken language in the region which is today Britta ny. The Bretons spoke a Celtic language which was similar to the Gaulish that was spoken in Gaul before th e influence of the Roman Empire. The region of Brittany contained four dialects: le cornouailla is, le lonais, le trgorrois, and le vannetais. Their languages remained important for a long time yet did not strongly influence the development of French. They spoke their own language for many years and did not adapt to the French language for many years. Their la nguage can still be f ound in Brittany today; however, it has never greatly influenced th e French language in any significant way. Eventually, the Franks gained more and more power and became the most important of all of these barbaric groups. Seve ral linguists, like Lodge (1997) a nd Wartburg (1962), say that the Franks exercised the determining influence on th e Latin that was spoken in their region to the north of the Loire Valley. Along with all of this defragmentation of Gaul there were also many different dialects. This study has already noted two languages, la la ngue dol and la langue doc, but within these two languages of Old French and Ol d Occitan there were also many dialects at the local level. Little by little, the franks won over more pow er in Gaul under thei r most well-known king, Charlemagne. After his death, the Carolingian Empire was divided into three sections, one section for each of Charlemagnes three sons: Charles, Louis, and Lothaire. Les Serments de Strasbourg was the first document that has survived wh ich had any part of it written in French. Until this point, Latin was the only written language. The document itself was a contract between two of the sons, Charles and Louis. Thes e two brothers joined with each other against the other brother, Lothaire. Ther e is only a small section of the Serments de Strasbourg which is

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21 written in French. The rest of the document is written in Latin. Louis an d Charles both read the contract aloud in the language of the other brother so that the so ldiers of the other brother were able to understand it. It is at this moment, in the year 842, that one can definitively say for the first time that there was a French language. One th eory holds that this text was in the French of the Ile de France which became the principal dial ect because of the regions strong relationship with the king. Another theory states that the oaths were written in a koine, which incorporated features from several regions. One must also look at how the language became an institution. Since there were so many dialects in Gaul, there was much confusion when laws and ordinances needed to be made. When this occurred, administrators had to either translate the legislation in to each dialect or run the risk of not having everyone understand. The rulers believed that if the country spoke one language, then the c ountry would be more unified and would have more of a national identity. In the effo rt to unify the country through a common language, several ordinances were passed. In 1490, the Ordinance of Moulins suggested that all legal interrogations and verbal proceedings be in French or in the maternal language. The purpose of this ordinance was to he lp eliminate Latin as the official language. Another ordinance passed to help rectify this situa tion was declared by Franois I in 1539, the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterts. Before this date, it was common for official documents to be written in Latin or the local dialect of French or Occitan. Many times, there were situations where the language of the ordina nce was not understood by some. One can see by the date of the Ordinance that this situation of miscomprehension existed for some time in Gaul. This edict stated that all official documents had to be in French: Et pour ce que telles choses sont souven t advenues sur lintelligence des mots latins contenus esdits arrests, nous v oulons doresnavant que tous arrests,

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22 ensemble toutes autres procdures, soie nt de nos cours souveraines et autres subalternes et infrieures, soient de re gistres, enquestes, contrats, commissions, sentences, testaments, et autres quelconque s, actes et exploicts de justice, ou qui en dpendent, soient prononcs, enregistr s et dlivrs aux parties en langage maternel franois et non autremen t. (Franois I, Article 111) There is a proverb that the speakers of many languages have adapted to their own culture. In French, one says Paris ne sest pas fait en un jour, but each language tends to use a different important city. In English and in Italian, the city of Rome is used in th is phrase, Rome was not built in a day. This proverb represents quite we ll the birth of French. French, like Rome, was not created in a day. A language, like a cit y, is not something which can simply appear overnight. It takes many centuries of evolution for it to develop. All French linguists say that French descende d from Latin. But if a language does come from another language, when can it be said that the first language is finished and the second language has begun? This question is as relevant to French as much as it is to all of the Romance Languages. There are linguists who say that La tin is still spoken t oday, that the modern Romance Languages are but dialects of Latin. We will see in the ne xt chapter that French is a language separate from Latin. It s morpho-syntax became so differe nt through its evolution that a speaker of French could not easily understand a speaker of Latin.

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23 Figure 2-1. Map of the expansion of Ro man power in Europe (Lodge, 1997, p. 50)

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24 CHAPTER 3 GRAMMATICAL EXPLANATION Because Old French evolved first into Middle Fr ench, then into Classic French, and finally into modern French, much time has gone by since it was spoken. Therefore, there are no native speakers of Old French that can tell linguists how the languag e was pronounced. The technology linguists use today to record nati ve speakers was not anywhere near development in the age of Old French, so recordings are also not an opti on. For this reason, this paper centers mostly on the written aspects of the language, since those ar e the ones for which linguists know the patterns of morphology and syntax. It is much easier to study the pronunciation of Classical Latin since there were Classical Latin scholars who wrote about the language itse lf from a linguistic standpoint, however, it would be much more diffic ult to study the pronunci ation of the Vulgar Latin that spread into Gaul in the first place, since the scholars who studi ed those aspects of the language were most likely residing in Rome. Morpho-Syntax Now that the historical background has been explained, one can move on to the more technical grammatical comparison of the language. The case systems of Latin and Old French is just one aspect of the grammars of these two languages. There ar e other areas, such as phonetics and semantics that can also be explored. The examination of the case systems dealt with in this paper pertains to one of the morpho-syntactical aspects of the language. First the morpho-syntax of Latin will be dealt with, th en the morpho-syntax of Old French. Finally, a comparison will be made between the two languages and their morpho-syntax. Latin Case System The term case system can be defined as a system of declensions. A declension is an alternation in a noun or adjective that indicates its grammatical role in the sentence. Janson

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25 (2004) says that in Latin each noun consists of a stem and an ending, and the ending shows the role of the word in the senten ce (p. 183). Each noun belongs to what is known as a declension. In Latin there are five diffe rent declensions to which a noun can belong. Each declension contains six different cases whic h have both singular and plural endings. So, in total a noun can have as many as twelve endings. The ending, or case, that is used is determined by the purpose of the noun in the sentence; for example, a noun can be the subject or the object of a verb. The nominative case is used when the noun is th e subject of a verb. For example, in the sentence the mans wife walks the do g in the park for her daughter the wife ( uxor ) is the subject of the verb to walk. Uxor would then be in the nominative case. The accusative case is used when the noun is the object of a ve rb; for example, in the sentence the mans wife walks the dog in the park for her daughter the dog ( canis ) is the object of the verb to walk, and canis would be in the accusative case. The ablati ve case is often used if the noun is the object of the preposition from, by, or in. For example, in our example sentence, the park ( hortus ) would be in the ablative case because it is the object of the preposition in. The dative cas e is often used to indicate the indirect object of the senten ce. If we take the sentence the mans wife walks the dog in the park for her daughter as a sample sentence, her daughter ( f lia ) is the indirect object and would therefore be in the dative case in Latin. The geniti ve case is used to indicate possession. In our example sentence, man ( vir ) would be in the genitive case to show that is it his wife that is doing the action. The final case is th e vocative case. This case is us ed when speaking directly to someone. For example, if our example sentence was addressed to someone named Cesar ( Cesar ), the sentence would become the mans wife walks the dog in the park for her daughter, Cesar. Cesar would then be in the vocative case. The mans wife walk the dog in the park for her daughter, Cesar can now be translated into Latin sin ce all of the parts and cases have been

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26 explained. Combining the Latin words in pare ntheses stated above and the verb to walk ( ambul re ), one can form the Latin sentence uxor viri canem f liae horto ambulat There are five different declensions within th e Latin case system, referred to as the first through the fifth declensions. The easiest way to discover which declensi on a noun belongs to is to look at the genitive singular ending of the noun. For this reason, many Latin dictionaries give both the nominative and genitive singular forms for each noun entry, for example femina, -ae The first declension contains nouns that end in a in their nominative singular form, such as f mina, -ae (woman); puella, -ae (girl); and via, -ae (road). Most of the nouns in the first declension are feminine; however, there are a few masculine nouns found within it as well, such as po ta, -ae (poet) and agricola, -ae (farmer). The second declension contains nouns that end in us in their nominative singular form. All of the nouns in this decl ension that end in us are masculine and include nouns such as servus, (slave) and hortus, (garden). There are also a fe w nouns in this declension which end in er or r in the nomina tive singular form, which are masc uline. Two examples of these second declension nouns are puer, (boy) and ager, agr (field). There are also a few neuter nouns in this declension which end in um, such as the noun bellum, -um (war). The third declension contains masculine, femi nine, and neuter nouns. This is the largest declension of nouns, and it can be broken up into two main groups. The first group contains nouns whose stems end in a consonant in th e nominative singular form, such as c nsul, -is (consul); m les, m litis (soldier); and fl men, -inis (river). The other group contains nouns whose stems end in i. This group contains nouns such as c vis, -is (citizen); mare, -is (sea); and animal, -is (animal). The stems of these nouns would then be c vi-, mari-, and animali-.

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27 The fourth declension contains nouns that end in us in the nominative singular form. It should be noted that the nomi native singular forms of both s econd and fourth declension nouns end in us; however, ones belonging to the fourth declension decline differently than the second declension us nouns. Some nouns included in this declension are exercitus, s (army) and c sus, s (chance). There also exist a few fout h declension nouns which end in u. These words are all neuter and include nouns such as gen s (knee). The fifth and final declension contains only a few nouns, all of which end in s in the nominative singular case. Most of them are feminine, such as r s, r i (thing); however, this declension also contains several masculine nouns such as di s, di (day) and meridi s, meridi (midday). The nouns of each of these declensions declin e in a different fashion. First declension nouns, such as femina, -ae have the following endings: Table 3-1. First declension noun endings Singular Plural Nominative -a -ae Genitive -ae rum Dative -ae s Accusative -am s Ablative s Vocative -a -ae The noun femina, -ae would then decline as follows: Table 3-2. First declension noun femina, -ae Singular Plural Nominative femina feminae Genitive feminae femin rum Dative feminae femin s Accusative feminam femin s Ablative femin femin s Vocative femina feminae The second declension nouns have the following case endings:

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28 Table 3-3. Second declension noun endings Singular Plural Nominative -us Genitive rum Dative s Accusative -um s Ablative s Vocative -e The second declension noun amicus, would then decline as follows: Table 3-4. Second declension noun amicus, Singular Plural Nominative amicus amic Genitive amic amic rum Dative amic amic s Accusative amicum amic s Ablative amic amic s Vocative amice amic Second declension neuter nouns decline in a different manner: Table 3-5. Second declension neuter noun endings Singular Plural Nominative -um -a Genitive rum Dative s Accusative -um -a Ablative s Vocative -um -a An example of such a noun is the word templum, : Table 3-6. Second declension neuter noun templum, declination Singular Plural Nominative templum templa Genitive templ templ rum Dative templ templ s Accusative templum templa Ablative templ templ s Vocative templum templa

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29 The third declension nouns decline in different ways depending on the gender, just as with the second declension nouns. The first t ype of third declension noun, such as urbs, urbis declines in the following manner: Table 3-7. Third declension noun endings Singular Plural Nominative s Genitive -is -um Dative -ibus Accusative -em s Ablative -e -ibus Vocative s I-stem nouns of the third declension, such as ma re, -is decline with the following endings: Table 3-8. Third declension i stem noun endings Singular Plural Nominative -a Genitive -is -um Dative -ibus Accusative -a Ablative -e -ibus Vocative -a The third declension nouns urbs, urbis and mare, -is then decline as follows: Table 3-9. Third declension noun urbs, urb s Singular Plural Nominative urbs urb s Genitive urb s urbum Dative urb urbibus Accusative urbem urb s Ablative urbe urbibus Vocative urbs urb s Table 3-10. Third de clension neuter noun mare, -is Singular Plural Nominative mare maria Genitive maris marium Dative mar maribus Accusative mare maria Ablative mar maribus Vocative mare maria

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30 The fourth declension also contains more th an one group of endings. The endings are as follows: Table 3-11. Fourth declension noun endings Singular Plural Nominative -us s Genitive s -uum Dative -u -ibus Accusative -um s Ablative -ibus Vocative -us s Table 3-12. Fourth declen sion neuter noun endings Singular Plural Nominative -ua Genitive s -uum Dative -ibus Accusative -ua Ablative -ibus Vocative -ua Two examples of fourth declension nouns are fructus, -us and corn,-us : Table 3-13. Fourth declension noun fructus, -us Singular Plural Nominative fructus fruct s Genitive fruct s fructuum Dative fructu fructibus Accusative fructum fruct s Ablative fruct fructibus Vocative fructus fruct s Table 3-14. Fourth declension neuter noun corn ,s Singular Plural Nominative corn cornua Genitive corn s cornuum Dative corn cornibus Accusative corn cornua Ablative corn cornibus Vocative corn cornua The fifth declension contains only one group of nouns, which is a re latively small group of nouns. The noun endings as well as the declination of an example noun, dies, diei follow.

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31 Table 3-15. Fifth declension noun endings Singular Plural Nominative s s Genitive -e rum Dative -e bus Accusative -em s Ablative bus Vocative s s Table 3-16. Fifth declension noun dis, die Singular Plural Nominative di s di s Genitive die di rum Dative die di bus Accusative diem di s Ablative di di bus Vocative di s di s Adjectives decline in a way si milar to the declination of nouns The adjective must agree with the noun it modifies in three ways: gender, number, and case. So if one had the genitive feminine singular noun feminae (woman) and one wanted to modify it with the adjective clarus (famous), the adjective would have to be changed so that it is also in the genitive feminine singular form: clarae ; therefore we would have the phrase feminae clarae (of the famous woman). First and second declension adjectives decl ine almost exactly like first and second declension nouns. Table 3-17 shows the case endi ngs for first and second declension adjectives in the feminine, masculine, and neuter forms. Table 3-18 shows the declination of the adjective clarus, clara, clarum in all three genders. The fact that a specific word order is not ma ndatory in Latin allows much freedom in the languages syntax. Many of the famous authors of Classical Latin used th is variable syntax to better express themselves. It also created a sort of game for the reader to figure out what role each word holds and which adjectives belong with which nouns. The example below is from the work De Amicitia by Cicero (44 BC). It shows the flexibility of syntax that is possible in Latin:

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32 Table 3-17. First and second d eclension adjective endings Masculine Feminine Neuter Nominative Singular -us -a -um Genitive Singular -i -ae -i Dative Singular -o -ae -o Accusative Singular -um -am -um Ablative Singular -o -a -o Vocative Singular -us -a -um Nominative Plural -i -ae -a Genitive Plural -orum -arum -orum Dative Plural -is -is -is Accusative Plural -os -as -a Ablative Plural -is -is -is Vocative Plural -i -ae -a Table 3-18. First/second declension adjective clarus, clara, clarum Masculine Feminine Neuter Nominative Singular clarus clara clarum Genitive Singular clari clarae clari Dative Singular claro clarae claro Accusative Singular clarum claram clarum Ablative Singular claro clara claro Vocative Singular clarus clara clarum Nominative Plural clari clarae clara Genitive Plural clarorum clararum clarorum Dative Plural claris claris claris Accusative Plural claros claras clara Ablative Plural claris claris claris Vocative Plural clari clarae clara Q. Mucius augur multa narrare de C. Laelio socero suo memoriter et iucunde solebat nec dubitare illum in omni serm one appellare sapientem; ego autem a patre ita eram deductus ad Scaevolam su mpta virili toga, ut, quoad possem et liceret, a senis latere numquam disced erem; itaque nulta ab eo prudenter disputata, multa etiam breviter et co mmode dicta memoriae mandabam fierique studebam eius prudentia doctior. Quo mortuo me ad pontificem Scaevolam contuli, quem unum nostrae civi tatis et ingenio et iustit ia praestantissimum audeo dicere. Sed de hoc alias; nunc redeo ad augurem. (Chapter 1, paragraph 1) This paragraph would be translated to English as Quintus Mucius Scaevola, the Augur, used to relate many a tale about Gaius Laelius, his father-in-law, with perfect me mory and in a pleasant style, nor did he hesitate whenever he spoke to call h im Wise. Now I, on assuming the dress of manhood, had been introduced to Scaevola by my father with the idea that, so far

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33 as I could and it was permitted me, I shoul d never quit the old man's side. And so I used to commit to memory many able arguments, and many terse and pointed sayings of his, and I was all on fire to become, by his skill, more learned in the law. And when he died, I betook myself to Scaevola the Pontifex, who I venture to say was beyond doubt the man in our stat e most distinguished for ability and justice. But I will speak of him another time; I now resume my remarks about the Augur. (Cicero, 44 BC, Chapter 1, paragraph 1) The works of Cicero are well known today by anyone who studies Latin as somewhat difficult to read. One can see from this translati on, that the word order in Latin is nothing like that of modern-day English or French. The me re length of his sentences makes it difficult for modern-day Romance Language speakers to comp rehend, since sentences are not usually this long in the modern Romance Languages. This di fficulty also stems from the fact that Cicero used the full extent of Latins syntax to bett er express himself and to say more within each sentence. Old French Case System The Old French that appeared in Gaul is not the French that one can find in modern-day France. It is also far from the Latin that wa s once spoken in the region. Old French conserves parts of the case system of Latin, but not the entire system. It al so only uses its case system in certain situations. There are two main word orders found in Ol d French non-interrogative sentences: subjectverb-object and object-verb-subject. The only tw o cases that exist in Old French are the cas sujet (nominative case) and the cas rgime (a ccusative case). Instead of the six cases of Latin, Old French only has two types of nouns. Mo re often than not, feminine nouns do not have any differences in the cas sujet and in the cas rgime. Masculine nouns, on the other hand, do have changes between the two cases. An example of a Type One masculine noun is murs and an example of a Type Two masculine noun is ber (Table 3-19). In the feminine, it is clear that there

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34 is often no difference between cas sujet and cas r gime, especially in Type One feminine nouns. Type Two feminine nouns often do show changes (Table 3-20). Table 3-19. Type 1 and type 2 Old French masculine nouns, cas sujet and cas rgime Singular Plural Type 1 Type 2 Type 1 Type 2 cas sujet (li) murs ber (li) mur baron cas rgime (le) mur baron (les) murs barons Table 3-20. Type 1 and type 2 Old French feminine nouns, cas sujet and cas rgime Singular Plural Type 1 Type 2 Type 1 Type 2 cas sujet (la) dame suer (les) dames (les) serors cas rgime dame seror dames serors Whether or not all of these declinations were respected often depended on the copyist, since most of the documents in Old French that exist today are copies, and not the originals. These copies were hand-written, so varia tions occur from one copy to another. These Old French noun types can be related to their corresp onding Latin noun declensions. The feminine Old French type one nouns come al most exclusively from first declension Latin nouns. The Old French type one masculine nouns come mostly from the group of Latin second declension nouns; however, there are many which come from the third declension of Latin nouns. The type two Old French feminine nouns al so often come from the third declension of Latin nouns. The Old French type two masculin e nouns which have altern ating radicals often come from a variety of Latin declensions, but especially from the Latin third declension; however, formal names in this type are often from a Germanic source (Gui, Guion; Hugues, Hugon; Athes, Athon). Whereas in Latin, each case has one specific us e, the cas sujet and th e cas rgime of Old French each have several different uses. The cas sujet most often served as the case for the

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35 subject of the verb in the pers onal modes: for example, Li rois avoit o consonner que messires Gauvains en avoit ocis pluseurs (Moignet, 1984, p. 88). The s ubject of the verb in the impersonal modes can be in cas suje t or cas rgime. The cas sujet is almost exclusively used for the noun following the verb tre. The cas sujet is equally used after the phrase il vient The cas sujet is also used for all nouns referring to the grammatical subject: for example, Jofrois de Vilhardoin li mareschaus de Campaigne moustra la parole (Moignet, 1984, p. 89). The cas rgime contains many different grammatical functions of the noun, as it corresponds to four of the Latin cases (genitive, accusative, da tive, and ablative). The cas rgime is used for objects of transitive verbs and for the objec ts of locutions which present things, such as voi ci vez ci ez ez vos etc. The cas rgime is also used for nouns referring to the object: for example, et aprs I envoia un suen chardonal, maistre Perron de Chappes, cois (Moignet, 1984, p. 91). Cas rgime is also used for determinative complements of the substantive, in the sense of belonging: for example, et neporquant as paroles que la rene i aprist conut ele veraiement quil estoit filz Lancelot et quil avoit est engendrez en la fille le roi Pells (Moignet, 1984, p. 92). The cas rgime can also be found as the complement of time: for example, Erec dormi po cele nuit (Moignet, 1984, p. 95). Co mplements of manner, attitude, measure, accompaniment, topic, and simulataneous circumstance are often found in cas rgime along with a participle, an adjective, or another type of determinant: Mout tost se rest mis a la voie, le col baissi que nus nel voie (Moignet, 1984, p. 97). The cas rgime is also used for the predicate nominative of the verb as well as for so me subjects when they are after the verb or not close to the verb in the sentence: et fu pris un parlement lendemain (Moignet, 1984, p. 98). Finally, the cas rgime is also used as for the object of a preposition.

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36 When it comes to adjectives, these too declin e with different forms, depending on the case, gender, and number of the noun they modify. Ther e are two kinds of adjectives in Old French. The first kind includes masculine adjectives which decline in the same way as the noun murs An example of this t ype of adjective is buens which would dec line as follows: Table 3-21. Old French masculine adjective buens Singular Plural cas sujet buens buen cas rgime buen buens This group also includes feminine adjectives wh ich end in e. These feminine adjectives do not decline. The feminine equivalent of the example buens would be buene which would not vary from cas sujet to cas rgime. This ad jective would, however, have a marked plural, buenes : Table 3-22. Old French feminine adjective buene Singular Plural cas sujet buene buenes cas rgime buene buenes The adjective endings for this group would then be as follows: Table 3-23. Case endings of Ol d French type 1 adjectives Singular Plural masculine cas sujet -s masculine cas rgime -s feminine cas sujet -e -es feminine cas rgime -e -es The second group contains adjectives which do not have marked gender. An example of this type of adjective is grans This lack of gender marking is most notably seen by the fact that the feminine forms do not have the e ending to mark their gender. These adjectives do not reflect gender because they represent an extension of certain Latin adjectives, such as grandis that also do not reflect gender. The masculine form of grans would decline as in Table 3-24. The

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37 feminine form of this adjective keeps the masculin e characteristics, but there is more variety in the singular cas sujet form (Table 3-25). Table 3-24. Old French masculine adjective grans Singular Plural cas sujet grans grant cas rgime grant grans Table 3-25. Old French feminine adjective grans Singular Plural cas sujet grans OR grant cas rgime grant grans The endings for the masculine and feminine type two adjective then are as follows: Table 3-26. Case endings of Ol d French type 2 adjectives Singular Plural masculine cas sujet -s masculine cas rgime -s feminine cas sujet -s OR feminine cas rgime -s In comparison to the case system of Latin, it is easy to see that Old French only keeps a small portion of the extensive Latin system. It is important to note that the formal Latin case system became simplified over time in the s poken Latin of day-to-day activities. This simplification could then be one reason why Old French conserves only two of the original six Latin cases. Lodge (1997) says that the system became so simplified in spoken Latin that the nominative (cas sujet in Old Fren ch) and accusative (cas rgime in Old French) cases were the only two cases that were absolute necessities to carry out day-to -day conversations in Rome. Instead of using cases such as the dative and genitive, prepositions followed by the accusative were often inserted into the sentence. Fo r example, instead of using the genitive amic one might say de amico (of my friend); instead of amic one might say ad amicum (to my friend).

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38 Toward the later Middle Ages in France, the case system of Old French and its case system became more and more rare. Instead of the noun ending telling the listener or reader which noun was the subject and which noun was the object, the word order became increasingly important. The noun preceding the verb became the subject (O ld French cas sujet), and the noun following the verb became the object (Old French cas rgi me). One might say that this pre-determined word order left little need for the case system, as its presence would have simply been repetitive in the syntax of the new type of sentences. Because there was no need for case endings, the s that would have normally marked the differen ce between cas sujet and cas rgime became a marker of plurality. Both the word order and th e plural s of the Fren ch of the Middle Ages have stayed constant through modern-day Fren ch. One could also sa y that the lack of pronunciation of the noun endings le d to the loss of the case sy stem and therefore to the importance of the word order. There is no real way to know which occurred first, because there are no native speakers of Old French left today. It may have even been the case that the two processes occurred at the same ti me. Linguists can only speculate at issues such as this one, since there is no living proof to definitively prove one theory over the other. An interesting point on the conservation of cases involves peoples first names. In the case of most nouns, the cas rgime was retained as the language evolved, whil e the cas sujet slowly disappeared. This evolutionary format was not however, the case for first names. In many cases, the cas sujet was kept. This preservation is most likely because of the fact that things are not done to names; however, in th e cases where both the cas sujet and the cas rgime still exist, it is a result of the fact that names often are the ones performing the action. It is for this reason that today one can find two similar forms of a name. For example, th e names Alice and Alison

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39 are the evolved cas sujet and the cas rgime form s (respectively) of the same name. Hugues and Huon have evolved similarly from the cas sujet and cas rgime forms of the same name. Old French syntax could contai n a great amount of flexibility. While the majority of the written texts in Old French that survive use eith er subject-verb-object or object-verb-subject as their word order, several other pos sibilities existed. In total, ther e were six possible word orders: subject-verb-object, subject-obj ect-verb, verb-object-subject, verb -subject-object, object-verbsubject, and object-subject-verb. Subject-verb-object and object-verb-subject became the most common word orders because of the Germanic influences on the language. The Germanic Languages most likely had a large influence in the loss of the case system in Old French. The stress pattern of the Germ anic Languages is the primary reason for this influence. It is most likely that this in fluence caused the noun endings to no longer be pronounced. This pronunciation di fference could be one reason fo r the drastic reduction of the case system from Latin to Old French; however, it could have also contributed to the loss of the case system within Old French, especially in th e spoken language. If th e endings were no longer pronounced, they were no longer detected by th ose who only spoke the language, which would have been the majority of the population who s poke it. Further influence of the Germanic Languages could have led to the comple te loss of the case system over time. Another influence of the Germanic Languages was the word ordering. As stated above, Old French had six differe nt possibilities for its word orde r; however, only two of these word orders became dominant, subject-verb-object an d object-verb-subject. These two options have one thing in common: the verb is always at the center. The centrality of the verb is common in Germanic Languages. Even in modern German, th e verb must always be at the center, between the subject and the object; however, it does not ma tter whether the subject or the object comes

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40 first. Because these Germanic word orders are so similar to the dominant ones of Old French, it is clear that the Germanic Languages had an influence on the syntax of Old French. Comparison of the Two Case Systems Even from a quick glance, it is easy to see th at the Latin case system is much more indepth than that of Old French. Every noun and every adjective have to have an ending which indicates the role of the word in the sentence at hand. By the time that Latin is no longer common in Gaul and Old French is the most co mmon language in the area two-thirds of this system has been reduced and is no longer present. It is natural that a lang uage evolves, and it is not uncommon that new languages spring out of other languages. Whenever languages come into contact and a new language emerges, certai n aspects of each language are retained. In general, some vocabulary and very basic gramma tical structures are kept. Then, the language recomplexifies in its own manner. The fact that the Latin spoken in Gaul just befo re the birth of French was so different from the classical Latin that was once spoken in Rome s hows an evolutionary trend in language. It is only natural, then, that Old French have such great differences from Latin, because it not only has a different pronunciation from La tin, but also because it has a di fferent syntactical system. Since Old French came from Latin and lost such a great part of the case system in its birth, it is not surprisi ng that as the French language evolved furt her it lost even more of the small case system that Old French conserved from Latin. While Old French did have much possible vari ety in its syntax, it usually did find itself restrained to two possible word orders. Latin, on the other hand, did not restrain itself as much. While there is a more extensive richness of syntax in Latin that in Old French, it should also be noted that Old French also had a much richer syntax than modern French has today. Modern French finds itself restricted almost exclusiv ely to a subject-verb-object word order.

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41 While Latin and Old French did have a more fl exible syntax, this fact does not make them any better of a language. French has taken a natural course in its evolution. Most IndoEuropean Languages tend to move from the synthetic the analytic. In a truly synthetic language, such as Finnish, Korean, or Japanese, the langu age evolves from a synthetic form to an even more synthetic form. In these languages, mo re and more grammatical information becomes included within each word. In the case of the ev olution of French, the language moves from the more synthetic to the more analytic. When it comes to the evolution of French, Latin is the strongest synthetic language. Old French loses so me of the synthetic aspects, but it still retains a large amount (its limited case system). As the langua ge evolves further, it loses even more of its synthetic qualities. In the evol ution of Old French, one could th en say that a loss in synthetic qualities occurred at the same time that the case system became reduced in size. While modern French is not completely analytic, it is much le ss synthetic than it has ever been. An example of this synthetic to analytic evoluti on can be seen with the Latin verb cant re If one wanted to say I will sing in Classi cal Latin, one would say cant b As the Latin language evolved, one would say habeo cant re This second form is less synthetic and therefore more analytic, in form. In French, it became chanterai Then the same evolution has occurred. Traditionally, I will sing is said as je chanterai in French; however, it is be coming more and more common to hear je vais chanter This change is just as the Latin change, in that it moves from a more synthetic form to a more analytic form. Both languages show a move from the more complex form to an infinitive with an auxiliary. There are, however, examples of the move fr om the analytic to the synthetic in modern French. One example is that of the current usage of clitic pronouns in the spoken language. A clitic pronoun is a pronoun that is closely related in pronunciati on or form to a preceding or

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42 following word that can usually not stand alone. Along with the closely related word with which it functions, the two words form a single accentual unit. The us e of clitic pronouns in modern French os becoming more and more common, almo st becoming common place, if not required in the spoken French of some groups Instead of just hearing je to start a sentence, one will often hear moi, je Today, Latin is no longer spoke n except by the Catholic Church and by scholars. This is one of the reasons that many people call Latin a dead language. Because it is no longer spoken or written by the public, it has stopped evolving. When a language stops evolving and remains stagnant, it is no longer alive. This fact is another reason why Latin is often referred to as a dead language. French, on the other hand, is alive an d thriving. It continue s to evolve, as is exemplified by the example of the movement from the more traditional synthetic form of the futur simple ( je chanterai ) to more analytical form of the futur proche ( je vais chanter ). French has already seen a change similar to this one with its past tenses. Instead of commonly using the pass simple ( je chantai ), the pass compos ( jai chant ) is commonly used t oday to talk about actions completed in the past. The pass simple is still in use, but mainly only in newspapers and literature. It is rarely ever spoken by the people themselves. Because the language is alive, it is only natural that it continue to evolve from its more synthetic forms to the more analytical ones already present in the language.

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43 CHAPTER 4 CONCLUSION In conclusion, it is easy to see that French ha s its roots in the Latin Language. Old French still carries many of the grammatical aspects that Latin has, such as the case system. Once that case system disappeared duri ng the Middle Ages, it is much more difficult to see the grammatical roots that French ha s in Latin. Because word orde r is so important to modern French, it is often difficult to understand why a language such as Latin has a case system which is relevant to the study of French. Know ing the history of the French language and understanding why French original ly had a case system and how that case system worked is essential when coming to logical conclusions in this subject area. Without this knowledge, the study of historical French linguist ics is nearly impossible to unde rstand. This knowledge is even more important when it comes to a detailed anal ysis of the Old French grammatical system and the evolution of Old French as a language. This type of study can further all types of French linguistic study. Sociolinguistics can be furthered by the fact that la nguage evolves differently in di fferent places. Knowing where French comes from and at what stage it was in troduced to new areas ti es into the study of sociolinguistics. It helps to explain the reasons behind the curr ent language practices in those more newly introduced areas. Studying the case sy stem of Old French and it loss as French evolved can help form a better comprehension of the modern morphology and syntax of French. The orthography of Old French helps the phoneti cian understand how the language used to be pronounced and why the spelling of modern Fr ench often does not match up with modern pronunciation. As one can see, historical linguistics is importa nt to all aspects of linguistics. This study has examined one aspect of the morpho-syntax of Old French, but the morphology and syntax of

PAGE 44

44 the French of the Middle Ages and the French up to modern French is also important to study. If one only studies these aspects of Old French and of modern French, then there will be a gap in ones knowledge. It is important to understand the entire history of the language, not just certain sections of it. In addition, studying the phonetics and semantics of all of these periods is also important. Studying the phonology of Old French helps one to understand the modern orthography of French. All of these areas of study are also importa nt in achieving a more complete comprehension of French linguistics. Yet another topic of interest, and perhaps the most closely related to this study would be the study of the verb conjugation systems of Latin and Old French. When a verb is conjugated in Latin, the verb itself tells the list ener or reader who the subject is because of its personal ending. Subject pronouns were rarely used in Latin. Seeing that Fren ch often has the same personal endings for different subject pronoun s (for example, the je and il forms of regular er verbs), the subject pronouns are always necessary in the abse nce of a noun subject. It is interesting and relevant to the study of historic al linguistics to understand when these subject pronouns became a required element to the French sentence. Countle ss other possibili ties exist in th e study of the similarities of Latin and Old Fren ch and in the evolution of the language from Old French to the French spoken today. This study has exam ined but one of these endless topics.

PAGE 45

45 LIST OF REFERENCES Allires, J. (1982). La formation de la langue franaise Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Cerquiglini, B. (1993). La naissance du franais Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Chaurand, J. (1969). Histoire de la langue franaise Paris: Presses Universitaires de France. Cicero, M. (44 B.C.). Retr ieved October 26, 2006 from http://www.uah.edu/student_life/organizations /SAL/texts/latin/classical/cicero/deamicitia .html Franois I. (1539). Ordonnance de Villers-Cotterts Retrieved October 25, 2006 from http://www.assemblee-nationale.fr Janson, T. (2004). A natural history of Latin (M. D. Srensen & N. Vincent, Trans.). Great Britain: Oxford University Press. (Original work published 2002). Lodge, R. (1997). Le franais : Histoire dun dialecte devenu langue (C. Veken, Trans.). Routledge: Fayard. (Origi nal work published 1993). Moignet, G. (1984). Grammaire de lancien franai s: morphologie syntaxe (2nd ed.). Paris: ditions Klincksieck Walter, H. (1988). Le franais dans tous les sens. Paris: R. Laffont. Wartburg, W. (1962). volution et structure de la langue franaise (6th ed.). Berne: ditions A. Francke S.A.

PAGE 46

46 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Kristin Hodge began her studies of French at the age of eleven at St. Johns Country Day School. She continued studying French every year through her graduation at St. Johns Country Day School in 2000. Upon entering Stetson Univ ersity, she began studying French and soon declared it her major. She minored in Communi cations. It is at this point, she decided she wanted to teach French. In he r senior year at Stetson Univer sity, she did a senior research project on the representation of Jeanne dArc in both American and French cinema. She obtained her B.A. in French language and literatu re at Stetson University in May of 2004. Soon afterwards, she began her M.A. studi es in French linguistics at the Un iversity of Florida. She has taught seven beginning French courses at the Universi ty of Florida. This thesis is the mark of completion of her M.A. degree at the University of Florida.


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THE MORPHO-SYNTAX OF LATINT AND OLD FRENCH:
THE LOSS OF A CASE SYSTEM




















By

KRISTINT PRISCILLA HODGE


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF
MASTER OF ARTS

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

2006
































Copyright 2006

by

Kristin Priscilla Hodge



































To my mother, who has always been there for me









ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

First and foremost, I thank my parents for always being so supportive in my studies. I

thank Marie Virginia Fisher for inspiring me to both learn and further my studies of the French

language. I would like to especially thank Dr. Mario Aldana for inspiring me to teach the

language.












TABLE OF CONTENTS


page

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS .............. ...............4.....


LIST OF TABLES .........__.. ..... .__. ...............6....


FIGURE ........._.___..... .__ ...............8.....


AB S TRAC T ......_ ................. ............_........9


CHAPTER


1 INTRODUCTION ................. ...............10.......... ......


2 HISTORICAL BACKGROUND .............. ...............12....


3 GRAMMATICAL EXPLANATION ................. ...............24........... ....


M orpho- Syntax ................. ...............24.................
Latin Case System .............. ...............24....
Old French Case System............... ...............33.
Comparison of the Two Case Systems ................ ...............40...............

4 CONCLU SION................ ..............4


LIST OF REFERENCES ................. ...............45........... ....


BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH .............. ...............46....











LIST OF TABLES

Table page

3-1 First declension noun endings............... ...............27

3-2 First declension noun femina, -ae .............. ...............27....

3-3 Second declension noun endings .............. ...............28....

3-4 Second declension noun amnicus, -a. ............ ....._.. ...............28.

3-5 Second declension neuter noun endings .............. ...............28....

3-6 Second declension neuter noun templum, -a declination ....._____ ........___ ..............28

3-7 Third declension noun endings .............. ...............29....

3-8 Third declension -i stem noun endings .............. ...............29....

3-9 Third declension noun urbs, urbis .............. ...............29....

3-10 Third declension neuter noun mare, -is .............. ...............29....

3-11 Fourth declension noun endings .............. ...............30....

3-12 Fourth declension neuter noun endings .............. ...............30....

3-13 Fourth declension noun fr~uctus, -us ............___.......... ...............30..

3-14 Fourth declension neuter noun cornu,- iis ................. ............_._....30.........

3-15 Fifth declension noun endings ....._._ ................ .........._. .......3

3-16 Fifth declension noun dies, dief ........._.___..... .__. ...............3 1..

3-17 First and second declension adj ective endings ................. ...............32..............

3-18 First/second declension adj ective clarus, clara, clarum ................. .......__. ........._.32

3-19 Type 1 and type 2 Old French masculine nouns, cas suj et and cas regime ................... ....34

3-20 Type 1 and type 2 Old French feminine nouns, cas suj et and cas regime ................... ......34

3-21 Old French masculine adj ective buens ................. ...............36........... ..

3 -22 Old French feminine adj ective buene .............. ...............36............. ..

3-23 Case endings of Old French type 1 adj ectives ................ ...............36.............











3 -24 Old French masculine adj ective grans ........._._. .. ..... ...............37

3-25 Old French feminine adj ective grans ........._._. .. ..... ...............37.

3-26 Case endings of Old French type 2 adj ectives ................ ...............37.............









FIGURE


figure page

2-1 Map of the expansion of Roman power in Europe (Lodge, 1997, p. 50) ................... .......23









Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts

THE MORPHO-SYNTAX OF LATINT AND OLD FRENCH: THE LOSS OF A CASE
SYSTEM

By

Kristin Priscilla Hodge

December 2006

Chair: William Calin
Major Department: French

This research deals with the morpho-syntactic features of both Latin and Old French. An

examination of the noun and adj ective case systems for both languages is given. First, a

historical background shows why Latin is related to French. Then, a grammatical examination of

the declension systems of both Latin and Old French is provided. Finally, a comparison of the

two languages is given.









CHAPTER 1
INTTRODUCTION

When one studies a language, it is important that all aspects of the language are examined.

Culture, grammar, phonetics, and vocabulary are but a few of the most common aspects of

language that one generally thinks about studying, but one can also go much deeper into the

linguistic aspects of the language. One area of these linguistic aspects is the history of the

language's development. Historical linguistics centers on the changes that occur throughout the

life of a language. Studying the origin and the way that a language once worked is one way to

better understand the way that it works in its modern form. Understanding why specific words

are spelled one way as opposed to another or why the subj ect is always placed in a specific place

can help make the language clearer and more interesting to the one studying it.

Languages do not appear overnight. French, like any language, took centuries to develop.

Instead of instantly appearing, it went through many stages of transformation. The French

language, along with all of the Romance Languages, comes from Latin origins. From its Latin

roots, it was influenced by Germanic tribes and formed into what is known as Old French. From

there, it transformed even more. The 17th century brought about the Classical Age of the French

language, which was followed by the modern French that is spoken today in France.

When studying a language in detail, it is important to understand from where it comes.

Just as the history of a country or a continent is important to the historian or the politician, the

history of a language is essential to the linguist. Otherwise, it is nearly impossible to understand

why one says something the way one does today. It is important to those who study the modern

language of French in detail to understand why an 'e' is used to make the feminine in most

adj ectives or why an 's' is used to mark the plural. Likewise, it would help the French linguist to

study Latin, since French developed out of Latin. Understanding how much larger of a case










system Latin has and how it gradually became reduced in size can help one who studies Old

French better understand why the case system of Old French is so truncated in comparison.

The fact that Latin' s six cases are reduced to two in Old French and then to none in modern

French is a phenomenon that one who studies French should understand, because without this

knowledge one could mistakenly think that the French language begins with Old French.

Knowing the language's origin and understanding its language of origin helps the Old French

scholar better understand as a whole the entire evolution of the French language. The fact that

Latin evolved in a similar way, using fewer and fewer of its cases, is also important. The fact

that Old French reduced the case system to two cases can help explain why later on it was

reduced to none.

This thesis will deal first with the historical background behind Old French. Why it comes

from Latin and why Latin was spoken in Gaul in the first place are but two of the topics

addressed in the historical background. Variations in the dialects spoken throughout Gaul are

also examined. The grammar section takes an in-depth look at the Latin case system of nouns

and adjectives. It also looks at the case system of nouns and adjectives of Old French. Finally,

the grammar segment makes a comparison of the Latin and Old French case systems.









CHAPTER 2
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

Latin and French have a relationship which has lasted more than a millennium. French

Einds its roots with the Latin language, even despite its many changes through the centuries. In

order to examine these changes, it is necessary to begin with a study of Old French because it is

the version of French through all of the centuries that is closest to Latin. There are many

phonological, morphological, syntactic, and lexical changes from Latin to Old French. This

study will examine the morpho-syntactical differences between the language of origin, Latin, and

the new language, Old French. In other words, one will study the eventual loss of the case

system in Old French. In order to fully understand the grammatical changes of the morpho-

syntax from Latin to Old French, one must understand first and foremost why Latin is pertinent

to Old French and why one spoke Latin in the region of Gaul before one spoke French. The

question of non-roman influences on the origin of Old French is also important.

Before the Romans entered Gaul, Galois (Gaulish) was spoken in the region that is now

France. Gaulish was a Celtic language. When the Gauls entered the region of Gaul, there were

other populations living there already, mainly the Ligurians, the Iberians, and the Aquitainians.

The languages that these peoples spoke were not of Indo-European origin. It is difficult to

determine where the languages of the Ligurians and the Iberians came from, since they no longer

exi st. The language of the Aquitains is known only through the Basque language which exists

today and has its origins in the language of the Aquitains. As to the language of the Gauls

themselves, modern linguists know little about it since there are few written records of the

language. The Druids refused to write any of their beliefs, so the traditional transmission of

writing through the clergy is non-existent for this society. The Gaulish records that do exist are










items such as calendars, which do not tell modern linguists much about the structure of the

language itself.

While Gaulish did not have a large influence on Old French, it did still have some

influence. In modern French, there are a total of around 200 words of Gaulish origin. Most of

these terms, such as valet, vassal, and cheval, deal with the rural aspects of life. Since these

words still exist today, once can logically deduce that Gaulish had some influence.

Perhaps the most likely influence Gaulish had on Old French is its nasality. Both French

and Portuguese were influenced by Celtic Languages, and both languages gained more nasal

sounds as a result. In Middle French, vowels which were followed by a nasal consonant became

nasalized. This particular nasalization is still in place today in modern French; however, the loss

of the final nasal consonant took place well after the time frame of Old French.

So why was Latin spoken in Gaul? "Nee dans l'lle de France, region dont le 'patois' n'a

jamais ete que la variante populaire du frangais, notre langue est avant tout l'heritiere directed du

latin imported en Gaule par les conquerants remains" (Allieres, 1982, p. 5). One can easily say

that Latin entered into Gaul because of Julius Cesar. Perhaps the best-known and the most

powerful leader of the Roman Republic, he reunited all of Gaul under Roman power. In the first

century B.C., the Roman Republic contained a large portion of Europe as well as several other

Mediterranean territories. Figure 2-1 shows the extensiveness Rome's power throughout

Europe, both as the Roman Republic and as the Roman Empire.

When this new government appeared in Gaul, it brought with it its language. As the

language of civilization and the language of government, Latin easily found its place in Gaul:

Les Romains n'ont eu recours a aucun moyen tyrannique pour imposer leur
langue. Mais le latin etait la langue officielle du gouvernement et il representait
la civilisation. C'etait deux raisons qui lui assuraient une superiorite ecrasante.
(Wartburg, 1962, p. 22)











Another reason that Latin took such a large hold in the civilization of Gaul was due to its

schools. At the beginning of the Roman civilization, the education of the children was the

responsibility of the parents. The sons went with their fathers to the fields, and the daughters

stayed with their mothers in the home. Little by little, they adopted the education system of the

Greeks. When Cesar took his soldiers into Gaul and conquered it, he also took with him the

Roman culture and the education system which was popular at the time. Because the Gauls did

not have a school system, they sent their sons to the new Roman schools in order to educate

them :

Les Gaulois n'avaient aucune institution de ce genre. Celui qui aspirait, pour lui
ou pour ses enfants, a un degree de civilisation plus avance se voyait dans la
necessity de recourir a l'instruction que l'on donnait dans les ecoles remains. ..
c' est surtout par l'ecole que le Gaulois est devenu Romain. (Wartburg, 1962, pp.
22-23)

These young boys learned Latin in school, and little by little this language became even

more important than Gaulish, the indigenous language of Gaul. It is because Latin was the

language of Rome, which was synonymous with culture and political power, that there was a

need in the homes of the elite families of Gaul to learn Latin.

It is obvious then that Latin held an important seat in Gaul at that time, but it is also

important to note that there was a situation of diglossia in Gaul when it was under Rome' s rule,

probably due to the distance between Rome and Gaul. Lodge (1997) says

Plus loin de Rome, certaines communautes comme celles de la Gaule connurent
longtemps une situation de diglossie, le latin jouant le r81e de langue officielle
tandis que les nombreux vernaculaires locaux subsistaient pour les besoins des
populations du cru. (p. 52)

Even though the school had an important role in the spread of Latin in Gaul, it was

probably the case that the diffusion of Latin was the result of the spoken language and not the









written language. The Latin that was spoken in Gaul at that time is traditionally called Vulgar

Latin. This title comes from the Latin noun vulgus which means "the people." Vulgar Latin

therefore means "the Latin of the people," and not the so-called Classical Latin of the traditional

Latin literature of authors such as Cesar, Cicero, and Virgil. Wartburg (1962) cites Meillet,

saying

Le latin vulgaire est devenu quelque chose que les hommes les plus varies et les
moins cultives pouvaient manier, un outil commode, bon pour toutes mains. (p.
35)

Before passing straight from Latin to Old French, there was a period of dialectization of le

gallo-roman in Gaul. In the fifth century A.D., there were many Germanic invasions which

menaced and in effect diminished the power of the Romans in Gaul. There was therefore at this

time a refragmentation of Gaul. The centrality that the Roman Empire had brought to Gaul

disappeared, and the spoken language became different in different regions. In the north, there

was what was called la langue d'od' (today, French) and in the south what was called la langue

d'oc (today, Occitan). The principal difference between these two gallo-romance dialects is "le

resultat de l'adoption des formes linguistiques nouvelles a des rythmes differents" (Lodge, 1997,

p. 81). In the north, there was a tendency to adopt new forms, while in the south there was a

tendency to conserve the old forms.

The fragmentation of the Roman Empire was one of the causes of the dialectization of

Vulgar Latin. Cerquiglini (1993) says

Rome et sa langue percent du prestige, au profit des varietes regionales et
provinciales, au travers desquelles une appartenance nouvelle se fait jour. Et la
disparition des ecoles publiques, au plus tard a la fin du Ve siecle, contribua sans
aucun doute a la perte de prestige dont souffrit rapidement le latin et la culture
romaine. (p. 30)









The schools which had disseminated the Latin language disappeared. Since the civilization

that was thought of as the best civilization in the world was no longer present, its prestige would

also no longer be present.

It is therefore evident that Latin had a large influence on the origins of French, but Latin

also had influence on the origins of many European languages. But these other languages are

much closer in linguistic terms to Latin than is French. If Gaul was closer to Italy than Spain, for

example, why then is French so much further linguistically from Latin?

There are two relatively simple answers to this question. First of all, there is the time

period when France became a Roman province. Rome had already gained the Iberian Peninsula

as a province. They were looking for a sort of bridge between Italy and Spain that their

merchants and their soldiers could use to travel between the two regions. Because Gaul found

itself to be situated between these two regions, it rapidly became this terrestrial bridge. Because

the Romans did not come to Gaul until a period much later than they came to other areas of

Europe, Latin was not present in Gaul when it was already in use in these other regions. Latin

evolved as all human languages do, and the Latin that the Romans introduced into Spain was

more like Classical Latin. The Latin that they introduced into Gaul was more evolved and had

different characteristics. The Latin language that was introduced there was therefore further

evolved when it first appeared in Gaul.

Another reason that French is different from the other Romance Languages is the fact that

there were many barbaric invasions in Gaul. These invasions contributed to the fall of the

Roman Empire. The term barbaric itself means foreign. These barbaric invasions did not begin

and end quickly. Instead, they were prolonged over a time span of many years. These










migrations helped contribute to the fall of the last emperor in the Orient in 476. These Germanic

invaders were not well organized, and so the Romans often used one group against another.

When the Empire began to distinguish itself, the Vulgar Latin spoken in each province of

the Empire evolved in different ways because of the different influences in each location. The

process of this disintegration was slow, but the results were the many different Romance

Languages, several of which still exist today. After the fall of Rome, these regions were isolated.

Cerquiglini (1993) says

Ce qui distingue le frangais des autres langues romanes, et qui a sans doute
distingue tres tit le latin dont il est issu, est le contact avec le celte d'une part,
avec la langue germanique d'autre part. (p. 31-32)

It was during this era that the proto-language d 'od' and the proto-language d 'oc appeared.

There was therefore a unique situation in the region which is today France which produced these

dialects that later became French.

These barbaric invasions of the Germanic peoples started in the fourth century, but it was

not until the fall of Rome that they had a great influence on the language spoken in Gaul. The

invasions continued for centuries.

The three principal groups who established themselves in Gaul were the Franks, the

Visigoths, and the Burgundians. All of these three peoples were Germanic, but they all spoke

different Germanic dialects. There were also other non-Germanic groups who had important

influences on the French language. The main non-Germanic influence came from the Bretons

during this time period. Because all of these different groups of people spoke different

languages and had different customs, it is necessary to study them region by region.

The region that is located in the north of Gaul was the region affected the most by the

invasions. The main invasion in this area was that of the Franks. It is easy to see even today that










the Franks had a large influence on the French language, just by looking at the modern-day name

of the region of Gaul: France. When they invaded, the Franks were looking for neither political

nor military power. They were farmers above all else. In reality, they did not even truly invade

Gaul; they simply began migrating toward the south of Gaul. The Franks were divided into

many smaller groups which were not very well organized until the unification of Clovis. The

Franks did not force their language on the Gauls:

Comme les Gaulois avant eux, les Francs ressentirent la culture latine comme a
bien des egards superieure a la leur. Mais dans les domaines de la vie ou cela ne
leur paraissent pas 6tre le cas, ils introduisirent un grand nombre de mots
empruntes au francique. (Lodge, 1997, p. 93)

Lodge shows in this citation that the Franks adopted the language of the people who were

already present in Gaul; but the language became more decentralized once they arrived into

Gaul .

In terms of vocabulary, the Franks contributed many military terms to Old French. They

also gave French some political terminology such as baron. There are also a large number of

names of plants that are of Frankish origin. Some examples include le houx and le cresson.

Clothing articles were also among the vocabulary terms contributed by the Franks: le ganzt and la

poche for example. In total, the Franks gave the French language over 200 terms. The Franks

also used to decline their proper names, which is one reason why the tradition of declining

proper names continued into Old French. Many suffixes in French are also of Frankish origin: -

ard and -aud for example.

The Visigoths used their military superiority in order to establish a kingdom which was

semi-independent and which had its capital in Toulouse. This kingdom was allied with Rome.

The more heavily populated concentrations of the Visigoths were noticeably around Toulouse.

The Visigoths, like the Franks, had an influence of decentralization on the language, but "la









contribution directed des Wisigoths a l'evolution linguistique de l'Aquitaine semble avoir ete

pratiquement nulle" (Lodge, 1997, p. 95). Because this region had a sort of independence from

the kingdom of the Franks, it was isolated to a greater degree from the rest of Gaul. The Latin

language had therefore evolved at a slower rate in this area than in the north. The Visigoths also

did not impose their language on the people of this region. The fact that the region remained

relatively stable and continued its traditional social structures left Latin to be the main language

here for much longer than in other regions of what is today France. Overall, this Visigoths had

little influence on the Old French language.

The region between le Jura and the Mediterranean Sea was located much closer to the

Germanic world. It was filled with invasions even before the fall of Rome because of its

location. This region kept its customs and habits for nearly three centuries after the fall of Rome.

It is because of this fact that the Latin that was spoken in this region was not very different from

the Latin spoken in what is today Italy.

The Burgundians invaded the region between Lyon and Geneva. This Germanic people

stayed allied with the Romans throughout the entire duration of the Roman Empire. They

adopted the legal system of Rome; however, in the end the Franks annexed the region in 536.

During the time of the Burgundians, the region retained many of its traditional habits. The

Burgundians themselves adapted to the Roman culture that was present in the region. Lodge

(1997) says that a bilingualism of Burgundian and Latin was present in the region among the

elite population of both Burgundian and Latin origin. Eventually, the Burgundians adapted

completely to the Roman culture that was present, and their language intermingled with it as

well.









The Bretons came from Great Britain in the fifth century, but as a result of the invasion of

their own territory by the Saxons. This people had a large influence on the spoken language in

the region which is today Brittany. The Bretons spoke a Celtic language which was similar to

the Gaulish that was spoken in Gaul before the influence of the Roman Empire. The region of

Brittany contained four dialects: "le cornouaillais", "le leonais", "le tregorrois", and "le

vannetais". Their languages remained important for a long time yet did not strongly influence

the development of French. They spoke their own language for many years and did not adapt to

the French language for many years. Their language can still be found in Brittany today;

however, it has never greatly influenced the French language in any significant way.

Eventually, the Franks gained more and more power and became the most important of all

of these barbaric groups. Several linguists, like Lodge (1997) and Wartburg (1962), say that the

Franks exercised the determining influence on the Latin that was spoken in their region to the

north of the Loire Valley.

Along with all of this defragmentation of Gaul, there were also many different dialects.

This study has already noted two languages, la langue d'oi'l and la langue d'oc, but within these

two languages of Old French and Old Occitan there were also many dialects at the local level.

Little by little, the franks won over more power in Gaul under their most well-known king,

Charlemagne. After his death, the Carolingian Empire was divided into three sections, one

section for each of Charlemagne' s three sons: Charles, Louis, and Lothaire. Les Serments de

Stra~sbourg was the first document that has survived which had any part of it written in French.

Until this point, Latin was the only written language. The document itself was a contract

between two of the sons, Charles and Louis. These two brothers j oined with each other against

the other brother, Lothaire. There is only a small section of the Serments de Stra~sbourg which is










written in French. The rest of the document is written in Latin. Louis and Charles both read the

contract aloud in the language of the other brother so that the soldiers of the other brother were

able to understand it. It is at this moment, in the year 842, that one can definitively say for the

first time that there was a French language. One theory holds that this text was in the French of

the Ile de France which became the principal dialect because of the region' s strong relationship

with the king. Another theory states that the oaths were written in a koine, which incorporated

features from several regions.

One must also look at how the language became an institution. Since there were so many

dialects in Gaul, there was much confusion when laws and ordinances needed to be made. When

this occurred, administrators had to either translate the legislation into each dialect or run the risk

of not having everyone understand.

The rulers believed that if the country spoke one language, then the country would be more

unified and would have more of a national identity. In the effort to unify the country through a

common language, several ordinances were passed. In 1490, the Ordinance of Moulins

suggested that all legal interrogations and verbal proceedings be in French or in the maternal

language. The purpose of this ordinance was to help eliminate Latin as the official language.

Another ordinance passed to help rectify this situation was declared by Frangois I in 1539,

the Ordinance of Villers-Cotterits. Before this date, it was common for official documents to be

written in Latin or the local dialect of French or Occitan. Many times, there were situations

where the language of the ordinance was not understood by some. One can see by the date of the

Ordinance that this situation of miscomprehension existed for some time in Gaul. This edict

stated that all official documents had to be in French:

Et pour ce que telles choses sont souvent advenues sur l'intelligence des mots
latins contenus esdits arrests, nous voulons d'oresnavant que tous arrests,










ensemble toutes autres procedures, soient de nos course souveraines et autres
subalternes et inferieures, soient de registres, enquestes, contracts, commissions,
sentences, testaments, et autres quelconques, actes et exploicts de justice, ou qui
en dependent, soient prononces, enregistres et delivres aux parties en language
maternel frangois et non autrement. (Frangois I, Article 111)


There is a proverb that the speakers of many languages have adapted to their own culture.

In French, one says "Paris ne s'est pas fait en un jour," but each language tends to use a different

important city. In English and in Italian, the city of Rome is used in this phrase, "Rome was not

built in a day." This proverb represents quite well the birth of French. French, like Rome, was

not created in a day. A language, like a city, is not something which can simply appear

overnight. It takes many centuries of evolution for it to develop.

All French linguists say that French descended from Latin. But if a language does come

from another language, when can it be said that the first language is finished and the second

language has begun? This question is as relevant to French as much as it is to all of the Romance

Languages. There are linguists who say that Latin is still spoken today, that the modern

Romance Languages are but dialects of Latin. We will see in the next chapter that French is a

language separate from Latin. Its morpho-syntax became so different through its evolution that a

speaker of French could not easily understand a speaker of Latin.











~ Ir~nallr;?pn~~ll; L'r rlu rn I)j,, 1 ~~


I~!olr ~F~B


Figure 2-1. Map of the expansion of Roman power in Europe (Lodge, 1997, p. 50)









CHAPTER 3
GRAMMATICAL EXPLANATION

Because Old French evolved first into Middle French, then into Classic French, and Einally

into modern French, much time has gone by since it was spoken. Therefore, there are no native

speakers of Old French that can tell linguists how the language was pronounced. The technology

linguists use today to record native speakers was not anywhere near development in the age of

Old French, so recordings are also not an option. For this reason, this paper centers mostly on

the written aspects of the language, since those are the ones for which linguists know the patterns

of morphology and syntax. It is much easier to study the pronunciation of Classical Latin since

there were Classical Latin scholars who wrote about the language itself from a linguistic

standpoint, however, it would be much more difficult to study the pronunciation of the Vulgar

Latin that spread into Gaul in the first place, since the scholars who studied those aspects of the

language were most likely residing in Rome.

Morpho-Syntax

Now that the historical background has been explained, one can move on to the more

technical grammatical comparison of the language. The case systems of Latin and Old French is

just one aspect of the grammars of these two languages. There are other areas, such as phonetics

and semantics that can also be explored. The examination of the case systems dealt with in this

paper pertains to one of the morpho-syntactical aspects of the language. First the morpho-syntax

of Latin will be dealt with, then the morpho-syntax of Old French. Finally, a comparison will be

made between the two languages and their morpho-syntax.

Latin Case System

The term case system can be defined as a system of declensions. A declension is an

alternation in a noun or adj ective that indicates its grammatical role in the sentence. Janson










(2004) says that in Latin "each noun consists of a stem and an ending, and the ending shows the

role of the word in the sentence" (p. 183). Each noun belongs to what is known as a declension.

In Latin there are five different declensions to which a noun can belong. Each declension

contains six different cases which have both singular and plural endings. So, in total a noun can

have as many as twelve endings. The ending, or case, that is used is determined by the purpose

of the noun in the sentence; for example, a noun can be the subj ect or the obj ect of a verb.

The nominative case is used when the noun is the subj ect of a verb. For example, in the

sentence the man 's wife walks the dog in the park for her daughter, the wife (uxor) is the subj ect

of the verb to walk. Uxor would then be in the nominative case. The accusative case is used

when the noun is the object of a verb; for example, in the sentence the man 's wife walks the dog

in the park for her daughter, the dog (canis) is the obj ect of the verb to walk, and canis would be

in the accusative case. The ablative case is often used if the noun is the obj ect of the preposition

from, by, or in. For example, in our example sentence, the park (hortus) would be in the ablative

case because it is the obj ect of the preposition in. The dative case is often used to indicate the

indirect obj ect of the sentence. If we take the sentence the man 's wife walks the dog in the park

for her daughter as a sample sentence, her daughter (filia is the indirect obj ect and would

therefore be in the dative case in Latin. The genitive case is used to indicate possession. In our

example sentence, man (vir) would be in the genitive case to show that is it his wife that is doing

the action. The final case is the vocative case. This case is used when speaking directly to

someone. For example, if our example sentence was addressed to someone named Cesar

(Cesar), the sentence would become the man 's wife walks the dog in the park for her daughter,

Cesar. Cesar would then be in the vocative case. The man 's wife walk the dog in the park for

her daughter, Cesar can now be translated into Latin since all of the parts and cases have been










explained. Combining the Latin words in parentheses stated above and the verb to walk

(amnbulaFre), one can form the Latin sentence uxor viri canem filiae horto amnbulat.

There are five different declensions within the Latin case system, referred to as the first

through the fifth declensions. The easiest way to discover which declension a noun belongs to is

to look at the genitive singular ending of the noun. For this reason, many Latin dictionaries give

both the nominative and genitive singular forms for each noun entry, for example femina, -ae.

The first declension contains nouns that end in -a in their nominative singular form, such

as femina, -ae (woman); puella, -ae (girl); and via, -ae (road). Most of the nouns in the first

declension are feminine; however, there are a few masculine nouns found within it as well, such

as poeta, -ae (poet) and agricola, -ae (farmer).

The second declension contains nouns that end in -us in their nominative singular form.

All of the nouns in this declension that end in -us are masculine and include nouns such as

servus, -i (slave) and hortus, i (garden). There are also a few nouns in this declension which

end in -er or -r in the nominative singular form, which are masculine. Two examples of these

second declension nouns are puer, -i (boy) and ager, agri (Hield). There are also a few neuter

nouns in this declension which end in -um, such as the noun bellum, -um (war).

The third declension contains masculine, feminine, and neuter nouns. This is the largest

declension of nouns, and it can be broken up into two main groups. The first group contains

nouns whose stems end in a consonant in the nominative singular form, such as consul, -is

(consul); miles, militis (soldier); and flamen, -inis (river). The other group contains nouns

whose stems end in -i. This group contains nouns such as civis, -is (citizen); mare, -is (sea); and

animal, -is (animal). The stems of these nouns would then be civi-, mari-, and animali-.










The fourth declension contains nouns that end in -us in the nominative singular form. It

should be noted that the nominative singular forms of both second and fourth declension nouns

end in -us; however, ones belonging to the fourth declension decline differently than the second

declension -us nouns. Some nouns included in this declension are exercitus, -us (army) and

casus, us (chance). There also exist a few fouth declension nouns which end in -u. These

words are all neuter and include nouns such as genus, -us (knee).

The fifth and final declension contains only a few nouns, all of which end in -es in the

nominative singular case. Most of them are feminine, such as res, rei (thing); however, this

declension also contains several masculine nouns such as dies, dieTe (day) and meridies, meridier

(midday) .

The nouns of each of these declensions decline in a different fashion. First declension

nouns, such as femina, -ae, have the following endings:

Table 3-1. First declension noun endings
Singular Plural
Nominative -a -ae
Genitive -ae -arum
Dative -ae -Is
Accusative -am -as
Ablative -a -Is
Vocative -a -ae


The noun femina, -ae would then decline as follows:

Table 3-2. First declension noun femina, -ae
Singular Plural
Nominative femina feminae
Genitive feminae feminkrum
Dative feminae feminist
Accusative feminam feminks
Ablative femina feminist
Vocative femina feminae



The second declension nouns have the following case endings:










Table 3-3. Second declension noun endings
Singular Plural
Nominative -us -i
Genitive -I -orum
Dative -o -Is
Accusative -um -os
Ablative -o -Is
Vocative -e -i



The second declension noun amicus, a would then decline as follows:

Table 3-4. Second declension noun amnicus, -i
Singular Plural
Nominative amicus amici
Genitive amicI amicormm
Dative amico amicls
Accusative amicum amicos
Ablative amico amicls
Vocative amice amici



Second declension neuter nouns decline in a different manner:

Table 3-5. Second declension neuter noun endings
Singular Plural
Nominative -um -a
Genitive -I orum
Dative -o -Is
Accusative -um -a
Ablative 5 -Is
Vocative -um -a



An example of such a noun is the word templum, -a:

Table 3-6. Second declension neuter noun templum, -a declination
Singular Plural
Nominative templum templa
Genitive temple templormm
Dative temple temples
Accusative templum templa
Ablative temple temples
Vocative templum templa


















Table 3-7. Third declension noun endings
Singular Plural
Nominative -O -es
Genitive -is -um
Dative -i -ibus
Accusative -em -es
Ablative -e -ibus
Vocative -O -es


I-stem nouns of the third declension, such as mare, -is decline with the following endings:

Table 3-8. Third declension -i stem noun endings
Singular Plural
Nominative -O -a
Genitive -is -um
Dative -i -ibus
Accusative -O -a
Ablative -e -ibus
Vocative -O -a



The third declension nouns urbs, urbis and mare, -is then decline as follows:

Table 3-9. Third declension noun urbs, urbis
Singular Plural
Nominative urbs urbes
Genitive urbis urbum
Dative urbi urbibus
Accusative urbem urbes
Ablative urbe urbibus
Vocative urbs urbes

Table 3-10. Third declension neuter noun mare, -is
Singular Plural
Nominative mare maria
Genitive maris marium
Dative marl maribus
Accusative mare maria
Ablative marl maribus
Vocative mare maria


The third declension nouns decline in different ways depending on the gender, just as with

the second declension nouns. The first type of third declension noun, such as urbs, urbis

declines in the following manner:












The fourth declension also contains more than one group of endings. The endings are as

follows:


Table 3-11. Fourth declension noun endings
Singular Plural
Nominative -us -us
Genitive -us -uum
Dative -ul -ibus
Accusative -um -us
Ablative -u -ibus
Vocative -us -us


Table 3-12. Fourth declension neuter noun endings
Singular Plural
Nominative -u -ua
Genitive -us -uum
Dative -u -ibus
Accusative -u -ua
Ablative -u -ibus
Vocative -u -ua


Two examples of fourth declension nouns are fr~uctus, -us and cornit,-us:

Table 3-13. Fourth declension noun fr~uctus, -us
Singular Plural
Nominative fructus fructus
Genitive fructus fructuum
Dative fructul fructibus
Accusative fructum fructfis
Ablative fructu fructibus
Vocative fructus fructus


Table 3-14. Fourth declension neuter noun corn#,- iis
Singular Plural
Nominative comnu comua
Genitive comIus comuum
Dative comu comibus
Accusative comnu comua
Ablative comu comibus
Vocative comfx comua


The fifth declension contains only one group of nouns, which is a relatively small group of

nouns. The noun endings as well as the declination of an example noun, dies, dici follow.










Table 3-15. Fifth declension noun endings
Singular Plural
Nominative -es -es
Genitive -el -erum
Dative -el -ebus
Accusative -em -es
Ablative -e -ebus
Vocative -es -es

Table 3-16. Fifth declension noun dies, diei
Singular Plural
Nominative dies dies
Genitive diel diermm
Dative diel diebus
Accusative diem dies
Ablative die diebus
Vocative dies dies

Adj ectives decline in a way similar to the declination of nouns. The adj ective must agree

with the noun it modifies in three ways: gender, number, and case. So if one had the genitive

feminine singular noun feminae (woman) and one wanted to modify it with the adj ective clarus

(famous), the adj ective would have to be changed so that it is also in the genitive feminine

singular form: clarae; therefore we would have the phrase feminae clarae (of the famous

woman).

First and second declension adj ectives decline almost exactly like first and second

declension nouns. Table 3-17 shows the case endings for first and second declension adjectives

in the feminine, masculine, and neuter forms. Table 3-18 shows the declination of the adjective

clarus, clara, clarum in all three genders.

The fact that a specific word order is not mandatory in Latin allows much freedom in the

language's syntax. Many of the famous authors of Classical Latin used this variable syntax to

better express themselves. It also created a sort of game for the reader to Eigure out what role

each word holds and which adj ectives belong with which nouns. The example below is from the

work De Amicitia by Cicero (44 BC). It shows the flexibility of syntax that is possible in Latin:










Table 3-17. First and second declension adj ective endings
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative Singular -us -a -um
Genitive Singular -i -ae -i
Dative Singular -o -ae -o
Accusative Singular -um -am -um
Ablative Singular -o -a -o
Vocative Singular -us -a -um
Nominative Plural -i -ae -a
Genitive Plural -orum -arum -orum
Dative Plural -is -is -is
Accusative Plural -os -as -a
Ablative Plural -is -is -is
Vocative Plural -i -ae -a



Table 3-18. First/second declension adjective clarus, clara, clarum
Masculine Feminine Neuter
Nominative Singular clarus clara clarum
Genitive Singular clari clarae clari
Dative Singular claro clarae claro
Accusative Singular clarum claram clarum
Ablative Singular claro clara claro
Vocative Singular clarus clara clarum
Nominative Plural clari clarae clara
Genitive Plural clarorum clararum clarorum
Dative Plural claris claris claris
Accusative Plural claros claras clara
Ablative Plural claris claris claris
Vocative Plural clari clarae clara



Q. Mucius augur multa narrare de C. Laelio socero suo memoriter et iucunde
solebat nec dubitare illum in omni sermone appellare sapientem; ego autem a
patre ita eram deductus ad Scaevolam sumpta virili toga, ut, quoad possem et
liceret, a senis later numquam discederem; itaque nulta ab co prudenter
disputata, multa etiam breviter et commode dicta memorial mandabam fierique
studebam eius prudentia doctor. Quo mortuo me ad pontificem Scaevolam
contuli, quem unum nostrae civitatis et ingenio et iustitia praestantissimum audeo
dicere. Sed de hoc alias; nunc redeo ad augurem. (Chapter 1, paragraph 1)

This paragraph would be translated to English as


Quintus Mucius Scaevola, the Augur, used to relate many a tale about Gaius
Laelius, his father-in-law, with perfect memory and in a pleasant style, nor did he
hesitate whenever he spoke to call him Wise. Now I, on assuming the dress of
manhood, had been introduced to Scaevola by my father with the idea that, so far










as I could and it was permitted me, I should never quit the old man's side. And so
I used to commit to memory many able arguments, and many terse and pointed
sayings of his, and I was all on fire to become, by his skill, more learned in the
law. And when he died, I betook myself to Scaevola the Pontifex, who I venture
to say was beyond doubt the man in our state most distinguished for ability and
justice. But I will speak of him another time; I now resume my remarks about the
Augur. (Cicero, 44 BC, Chapter 1, paragraph 1)

The works of Cicero are well known today by anyone who studies Latin as somewhat

difficult to read. One can see from this translation, that the word order in Latin is nothing like

that of modem-day English or French. The mere length of his sentences makes it difficult for

modern-day Romance Language speakers to comprehend, since sentences are not usually this

long in the modem Romance Languages. This difficulty also stems from the fact that Cicero

used the full extent of Latin' s syntax to better express himself and to say more within each

sentence.

Old French Case System

The Old French that appeared in Gaul is not the French that one can find in modern-day

France. It is also far from the Latin that was once spoken in the region. Old French conserves

parts of the case system of Latin, but not the entire system. It also only uses its case system in

certain situations.

There are two main word orders found in Old French non-interrogative sentences: subject-

verb-obj ect and obj ect-verb-subj ect. The only two cases that exist in Old French are the "cas

sujet" (nominative case) and the "cas regime" (accusative case). Instead of the six cases of

Latin, Old French only has two types of nouns. More often than not, feminine nouns do not have

any differences in the cas sujet and in the cas regime. Masculine nouns, on the other hand, do

have changes between the two cases. An example of a Type One masculine noun is murs and an

example of a Type Two masculine noun is ber (Table 3-19). In the feminine, it is clear that there










is often no difference between cas suj et and cas regime, especially in Type One feminine nouns.

Type Two feminine nouns often do show changes (Table 3-20).

Table 3-19. Type 1 and type 2 Old French masculine nouns, cas sujet and cas regime
Singular Plural
Type 1 Type 2 Type 1 Type 2
cas sujet (li) murs ber (li) mur baron
cas regime (le) mur baron (les) murs barons


Table 3-20. Type 1 and type 2 Old French feminine nouns, cas sujet and cas regime
Singular Plural
Type 1 Type 2 Type 1 Type 2
cas sujet (la) dame suer (les) dames (les) serors
cas regime dame seror dames serors


Whether or not all of these declinations were respected often depended on the copyist,

since most of the documents in Old French that exist today are copies, and not the originals.

These copies were hand-written, so variations occur from one copy to another.

These Old French noun types can be related to their corresponding Latin noun declensions.

The feminine Old French type one nouns come almost exclusively from first declension Latin

nouns. The Old French type one masculine nouns come mostly from the group of Latin second

declension nouns; however, there are many which come from the third declension of Latin

nouns. The type two Old French feminine nouns also often come from the third declension of

Latin nouns. The Old French type two masculine nouns which have alternating radicals often

come from a variety of Latin declensions, but especially from the Latin third declension;

however, formal names in this type are often from a Germanic source (Gui, Guion; Hugues,

Hugon; Athes, Athon).

Whereas in Latin, each case has one specific use, the cas suj et and the cas regime of Old

French each have several different uses. The cas sujet most often served as the case for the










subj ect of the verb in the personal modes: for example, Li rois avoit of' consonner que messires

Gauvains en avoit ocis pluseurs (Moignet, 1984, p. 88). The subject of the verb in the

impersonal modes can be in cas sujet or cas regime. The cas sujet is almost exclusively used for

the noun following the verb atre. The cas sujet is equally used after the phrase il vient. The cas

sujet is also used for all nouns referring to the grammatical subj ect: for example, Jofr~ois de

Vilhardoin li mareschaus de Campaigne moustra la parole (Moignet, 1984, p. 89).

The cas regime contains many different grammatical functions of the noun, as it

corresponds to four of the Latin cases genitivee, accusative, dative, and ablative). The cas

regime is used for obj ects of transitive verbs and for the obj ects of locutions which present

things, such as voi ci, vez ci, ez, ez vos, etc. The cas regime is also used for nouns referring to the

obj ect: for example, et apris l envoia un suen chardonal, maistre Perron de Chappes, coise

(Moignet, 1984, p. 91). Cas regime is also used for determinative complements of the

substantive, in the sense of belonging: for example, et neporquant as paroles que la reine i aprist

conut ele veraiement qu 'il estoit filz Lancelot et qu 'il avoit estd engendrez en la fille le roi Pelles

(Moignet, 1984, p. 92). The cas regime can also be found as the complement of time: for

example, Erec dormi po cele nuit (Moignet, 1984, p. 95). Complements of manner, attitude,

measure, accompaniment, topic, and simultaneous circumstance are often found in cas regime

along with a participle, an adj ective, or another type of determinant: M~out tost se rest mis a la

voie, le col baissie, que nus nel voie (Moignet, 1984, p. 97). The cas regime is also used for the

predicate nominative of the verb as well as for some subj ects when they are after the verb or not

close to the verb in the sentence: et fu pris un parlement l 'endemain (Moignet, 1984, p. 98).

Finally, the cas regime is also used as for the obj ect of a preposition.










When it comes to adj ectives, these too decline with different forms, depending on the case,

gender, and number of the noun they modify. There are two kinds of adj ectives in Old French.

The first kind includes masculine adj ectives which decline in the same way as the noun murs.

An example of this type of adj ective is buens, which would decline as follows:

Table 3-21. Old French masculine adj ective buens
Singular Plural
cas sujet buens buen
cas regime buen buens


This group also includes feminine adj ectives which end in -e. These feminine adj ectives

do not decline. The feminine equivalent of the example buens would be buene, which would not

vary from cas sujet to cas regime. This adjective would, however, have a marked plural, buenes:

Table 3-22. Old French feminine adj ective buene
Singular Plural
cas sujet buene buenes
cas regime buene buenes


The adj ective endings for this group would then be as follows:

Table 3-23. Case endings of Old French type 1 adj ectives
Singular Plural
masculine cas sujet -s -O
masculine cas regime -0 -s
feminine cas sujet -e -es
feminine cas regime -e -es


The second group contains adjectives which do not have marked gender. An example of

this type of adj ective is grans. This lack of gender marking is most notably seen by the fact that

the feminine forms do not have the -e ending to mark their gender. These adj ectives do not

reflect gender because they represent an extension of certain Latin adjectives, such as grandis,

that also do not reflect gender. The masculine form of grans would decline as in Table 3-24. The










feminine form of this adj ective keeps the masculine characteristics, but there is more variety in

the singular cas suj et form (Table 3-25).

Table 3-24. Old French masculine adj ective grans
Singular Plural
cas sujet grans grant
cas regime grant grans

Table 3-25. Old French feminine adj ective grans
Singular Plural
cas sujet grans OR grant
grans
cas regime grant


The endings for the masculine and feminine type two adj ective then are as follows:

Table 3-26. Case endings of Old French type 2 adj ectives
Singular Plural
masculine cas sujet -s -O
masculine cas regime -0 -s
feminine cas sujet -s OR -O
feminine cas regime -0


In comparison to the case system of Latin, it is easy to see that Old French only keeps a

small portion of the extensive Latin system. It is important to note that the formal Latin case

system became simplified over time in the spoken Latin of day-to-day activities. This

simplification could then be one reason why Old French conserves only two of the original six

Latin cases. Lodge (1997) says that the system became so simplified in spoken Latin that the

nominative (cas suj et in Old French) and accusative (cas regime in Old French) cases were the

only two cases that were absolute necessities to carry out day-to-day conversations in Rome.

Instead of using cases such as the dative and genitive, prepositions followed by the accusative

were often inserted into the sentence. For example, instead of using the genitive amnici, one

might say de amnico (of my friend); instead of amnico, one might say ad amnicum (to my friend).









Toward the later Middle Ages in France, the case system of Old French and its case system

became more and more rare. Instead of the noun ending telling the listener or reader which noun

was the subj ect and which noun was the obj ect, the word order became increasingly important.

The noun preceding the verb became the subj ect (Old French cas suj et), and the noun following

the verb became the obj ect (Old French cas regime). One might say that this pre-determined

word order left little need for the case system, as its presence would have simply been repetitive

in the syntax of the new type of sentences. Because there was no need for case endings, the 's'

that would have normally marked the difference between cas suj et and cas regime became a

marker of plurality. Both the word order and the plural 's' of the French of the Middle Ages

have stayed constant through modern-day French. One could also say that the lack of

pronunciation of the noun endings led to the loss of the case system and therefore to the

importance of the word order. There is no real way to know which occurred first, because there

are no native speakers of Old French left today. It may have even been the case that the two

processes occurred at the same time. Linguists can only speculate at issues such as this one,

since there is no living proof to definitively prove one theory over the other.

An interesting point on the conservation of cases involves people's first names. In the case

of most nouns, the cas regime was retained as the language evolved, while the cas suj et slowly

disappeared. This evolutionary format was not, however, the case for first names. In many

cases, the cas suj et was kept. This preservation is most likely because of the fact that things are

not done to names; however, in the cases where both the cas suj et and the cas regime still exist,

it is a result of the fact that names often are the ones performing the action. It is for this reason

that today one can find two similar forms of a name. For example, the names Alice and Alison









are the evolved cas sujet and the cas regime forms (respectively) of the same name. Hugues and

Huon have evolved similarly from the cas sujet and cas regime forms of the same name.

Old French syntax could contain a great amount of flexibility. While the maj ority of the

written texts in Old French that survive use either subj ect-verb-obj ect or obj ect-verb-subj ect as

their word order, several other possibilities existed. In total, there were six possible word orders:

subject-verb-object, subject-object-verb, verb-object-subject, verb-subject-object, object-verb-

subj ect, and obj ect-subj ect-verb. Subj ect-verb-obj ect and obj ect-verb-subj ect became the most

common word orders because of the Germanic influences on the language.

The Germanic Languages most likely had a large influence in the loss of the case system in

Old French. The stress pattern of the Germanic Languages is the primary reason for this

influence. It is most likely that this influence caused the noun endings to no longer be

pronounced. This pronunciation difference could be one reason for the drastic reduction of the

case system from Latin to Old French; however, it could have also contributed to the loss of the

case system within Old French, especially in the spoken language. If the endings were no longer

pronounced, they were no longer detected by those who only spoke the language, which would

have been the majority of the population who spoke it. Further influence of the Germanic

Languages could have led to the complete loss of the case system over time.

Another influence of the Germanic Languages was the word ordering. As stated above,

Old French had six different possibilities for its word order; however, only two of these word

orders became dominant, subject-verb-object and object-verb-subject. These two options have

one thing in common: the verb is always at the center. The centrality of the verb is common in

Germanic Languages. Even in modern German, the verb must always be at the center, between

the subj ect and the obj ect; however, it does not matter whether the subj ect or the obj ect comes









first. Because these Germanic word orders are so similar to the dominant ones of Old French, it

is clear that the Germanic Languages had an influence on the syntax of Old French.

Comparison of the Two Case Systems

Even from a quick glance, it is easy to see that the Latin case system is much more in-

depth than that of Old French. Every noun and every adj ective have to have an ending which

indicates the role of the word in the sentence at hand. By the time that Latin is no longer

common in Gaul and Old French is the most common language in the area, two-thirds of this

system has been reduced and is no longer present. It is natural that a language evolves, and it is

not uncommon that new languages spring out of other languages. Whenever languages come

into contact and a new language emerges, certain aspects of each language are retained. In

general, some vocabulary and very basic grammatical structures are kept. Then, the language

recomplexifies in its own manner.

The fact that the Latin spoken in Gaul just before the birth of French was so different from

the classical Latin that was once spoken in Rome shows an evolutionary trend in language. It is

only natural, then, that Old French have such great differences from Latin, because it not only

has a different pronunciation from Latin, but also because it has a different syntactical system.

Since Old French came from Latin and lost such a great part of the case system in its birth,

it is not surprising that as the French language evolved further it lost even more of the small case

system that Old French conserved from Latin.

While Old French did have much possible variety in its syntax, it usually did Eind itself

restrained to two possible word orders. Latin, on the other hand, did not restrain itself as much.

While there is a more extensive richness of syntax in Latin that in Old French, it should also be

noted that Old French also had a much richer syntax than modern French has today. Modern

French Einds itself restricted almost exclusively to a subj ect-verb-obj ect word order.










While Latin and Old French did have a more flexible syntax, this fact does not make them

any better of a language. French has taken a natural course in its evolution. Most Indo-

European Languages tend to move from the synthetic the analytic. In a truly synthetic language,

such as Finnish, Korean, or Japanese, the language evolves from a synthetic form to an even

more synthetic form. In these languages, more and more grammatical information becomes

included within each word. In the case of the evolution of French, the language moves from the

more synthetic to the more analytic. When it comes to the evolution of French, Latin is the

strongest synthetic language. Old French loses some of the synthetic aspects, but it still retains a

large amount (its limited case system). As the language evolves further, it loses even more of its

synthetic qualities. In the evolution of Old French, one could then say that a loss in synthetic

qualities occurred at the same time that the case system became reduced in size. While modern

French is not completely analytic, it is much less synthetic than it has ever been. An example of

this synthetic to analytic evolution can be seen with the Latin verb cantaFre. If one wanted to say

"I will sing" in Classical Latin, one would say cantaFbo. As the Latin language evolved, one

would say habeo cantaFre. This second form is less synthetic, and therefore more analytic, in

form. In French, it became chanterai. Then the same evolution has occurred. Traditionally, "I

will sing" is said as je chanterai in French; however, it is becoming more and more common to

hear je vais chanter. This change is just as the Latin change, in that it moves from a more

synthetic form to a more analytic form. Both languages show a move from the more complex

form to an infinitive with an auxiliary.

There are, however, examples of the move from the analytic to the synthetic in modern

French. One example is that of the current usage of clitic pronouns in the spoken language. A

clitic pronoun is a pronoun that is closely related in pronunciation or form to a preceding or










following word that can usually not stand alone. Along with the closely related word with which

it functions, the two words form a single accentual unit. The use of clitic pronouns in modern

French os becoming more and more common, almost becoming common place, if not required in

the spoken French of some groups. Instead of just hearing je to start a sentence, one will often

hear moi, je .

Today, Latin is no longer spoken except by the Catholic Church and by scholars. This is

one of the reasons that many people call Latin a dead language. Because it is no longer spoken

or written by the public, it has stopped evolving. When a language stops evolving and remains

stagnant, it is no longer alive. This fact is another reason why Latin is often referred to as a dead

language. French, on the other hand, is alive and thriving. It continues to evolve, as is

exemplified by the example of the movement from the more traditional synthetic form of the

future simple (je chanterai) to more analytical form of the future proche (je vais chanter). French

has already seen a change similar to this one with its past tenses. Instead of commonly using the

passe simple Oye chantai), the passe compose O'ai chanted) is commonly used today to talk about

actions completed in the past. The passe simple is still in use, but mainly only in newspapers and

literature. It is rarely ever spoken by the people themselves. Because the language is alive, it is

only natural that it continue to evolve from its more synthetic forms to the more analytical ones

already present in the language.









CHAPTER 4
CONCLUSION

In conclusion, it is easy to see that French has its roots in the Latin Language. Old French

still carries many of the grammatical aspects that Latin has, such as the case system. Once that

case system disappeared during the Middle Ages, it is much more difficult to see the

grammatical roots that French has in Latin. Because word order is so important to modern

French, it is often difficult to understand why a language such as Latin has a case system which

is relevant to the study of French. Knowing the history of the French language and

understanding why French originally had a case system and how that case system worked is

essential when coming to logical conclusions in this subject area. Without this knowledge, the

study of historical French linguistics is nearly impossible to understand. This knowledge is even

more important when it comes to a detailed analysis of the Old French grammatical system and

the evolution of Old French as a language.

This type of study can further all types of French linguistic study. Sociolinguistics can be

furthered by the fact that language evolves differently in different places. Knowing where

French comes from and at what stage it was introduced to new areas ties into the study of

sociolinguistics. It helps to explain the reasons behind the current language practices in those

more newly introduced areas. Studying the case system of Old French and it loss as French

evolved can help form a better comprehension of the modern morphology and syntax of French.

The orthography of Old French helps the phonetician understand how the language used to be

pronounced and why the spelling of modern French often does not match up with modern

pronunciation.

As one can see, historical linguistics is important to all aspects of linguistics. This study

has examined one aspect of the morpho-syntax of Old French, but the morphology and syntax of









the French of the Middle Ages and the French up to modern French is also important to study. If

one only studies these aspects of Old French and of modern French, then there will be a gap in

one' s knowledge. It is important to understand the entire history of the language, not just certain

sections of it. In addition, studying the phonetics and semantics of all of these periods is also

important. Studying the phonology of Old French helps one to understand the modern

orthography of French. All of these areas of study are also important in achieving a more

complete comprehension of French linguistics.

Yet another topic of interest, and perhaps the most closely related to this study would be

the study of the verb conjugation systems of Latin and Old French. When a verb is conjugated in

Latin, the verb itself tells the listener or reader who the subj ect is because of its personal ending.

Subj ect pronouns were rarely used in Latin. Seeing that French often has the same personal

endings for different subj ect pronouns (for example, the j e and il forms of regular -er verbs), the

subject pronouns are always necessary in the absence of a noun subj ect. It is interesting and

relevant to the study of historical linguistics to understand when these subj ect pronouns became a

required element to the French sentence. Countless other possibilities exist in the study of the

similarities of Latin and Old French and in the evolution of the language from Old French to the

French spoken today. This study has examined but one of these endless topics.










LIST OF REFERENCES

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Chaurand, J. (1969). Histoire de la langue frnangaise Paris: Presses Universitaires de France.

Cicero, M. (44 B.C.). Retrieved October 26, 2006 from
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Lod ge, R. (1997). Le fra~ngais : Histoire d'un dialecte devenu langue. (C. Veken, Trans.).
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Moignet, G. (1984). Gramnmaire de l'ancien frangais: morphologie syntaxe. (2nd ed.). Paris:
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Walter, H. (1988). Le frangais dansddddd~~~~~~~dddddd tous les sens. Paris: R. Laffont.

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Kristin Hodge began her studies of French at the age of eleven at St. Johns Country Day

School. She continued studying French every year through her graduation at St. Johns Country

Day School in 2000. Upon entering Stetson University, she began studying French and soon

declared it her major. She minored in Communications. It is at this point, she decided she

wanted to teach French. In her senior year at Stetson University, she did a senior research

proj ect on the representation of Jeanne d'Arc in both American and French cinema. She

obtained her B.A. in French language and literature at Stetson University in May of 2004. Soon

afterwards, she began her M.A. studies in French linguistics at the University of Florida. She has

taught seven beginning French courses at the University of Florida. This thesis is the mark of

completion of her M.A. degree at the University of Florida.