dessur

crizzle

Senior Member
American English
Would all of you say that this word has the same meaning as "sur"? Or is it used in different contexts or grammatical constructs?

Merci
 
  • franc 91

    Senior Member
    English - GB
    Ça existe en français - peu désuet certes - écoutez cette belle chanson:

    Dessur la mer il y a t un pré
    O vent qui le vente
    Dessur la mer il y a t un pré
    O le grand vent O le joli vent (etc etc) Le Jardin des Mystères (du Nivernais)
     

    Muniam

    Senior Member
    Québec (Francais)
    I've heard "dessur" in quebec. It was used with the meaning "dessus" by people with a really thick Quebecois accent.

    So, from my limited experience, yeah, it means the same thing.
     

    Etienne-Gaspar

    New Member
    English
    I have seen "dessur" used in lyrical contexts in Louisiana French songs. It is sometimes expressed as "de sur" or "dessur". It could be an archaism.
     

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    French
    Old folk songs and nursery rhymes are full of disused words like "dessur" and phonetic variations like the "t" liaison in "il y a-t-un pré", which can be heard occasionally in modern root folk songs, as in this "Dans la lune au fond de l'eau" nice piece of Tri Yann surreal poetry:

    Dans l'abîme (Oh ! Hissez oh !) il y a-t-une coquille...
    Dans la coquille au fond de l'eau, il y a-t-un navire...

    etc.

    "dessur" is just an archaic variant of "dessus", which has itself become scarcer in modern French, often superseded by "sur" or "au-dessus de". A flat French equivalent would be "au-dessus de la mer il y a un pré" or perhaps "sur la mer il y a un pré".

    Another example comes to mind, from "trois jeunes tambours"

    J'ai trois vaisseaux dessus la mer jolie
    L'un chargé d'or, l'autre de pierreries
    Et le troisième pour promener ma mie.

    I own three ships (sailing) over the nice sea
    One laden with gold, the other with jewels
    and the third to give my sweetheart a ride.
     
    Last edited:

    Etienne-Gaspar

    New Member
    English
    What you are saying is exactly what I have found combing through old dissertations and master's theses based on the collecting of French folk songs in different parishes of Louisiane.

    I've also found that phonetic variation in both old French folk songs and sometimes surviving in "des chansons cadiennes." Thank you dearly for this tidbit!
     

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    French
    Glad you liked it. Don't even get me started on folk songs and nursery rhymes, I find them oddly fascinating :)

    For instance "la rose au boué" (here covered by the marvellous Anne Sylvestre), where all the "oi" are turned into "oué" (bois -> boué, roi -> roué, soie -> soué, etc.). I believe this one is still popular in Quebec, or is it?

    Or this 16th century "Compère Guilleri", old enough for common words to drift away from their modern pronunciation ("te lairas-tu mouri ?" for "te laisseras-tu mourir ?"...)

    Aargh, now you've done it. Right, I'll get a grip.
     

    Etienne-Gaspar

    New Member
    English
    I did indeed! It's funny how some folk songs become comptines in France, but are still regarded as folk songs in Canada. Aside from few musicians in Louisiana, most of the older repertoires have faded as a thing of the past. I've never came across "la rose au boué," but I've found versions in lyrical transcriptions (some with musical notations) of songs like "Le Tour de rosier" or "Jolie fleur de rose." I'm rather a novice in the world of French folk songs so forgive me. However, the intentional phonetic changes are quite amazing to say the least!

    As for your second example, here is a surviving remnant of said song. It was collected from Avoyelles Parish where my mother is from. It was sung by Mlle Irène Desselle.

    1. Guillorie

    Guillorie s’en va chassant
    Avec son grand fusil d’argent
    A la chasse aux perdrix
    Carabi toto, Caraba marchand,
    Carabi Compère Guillorie.
    Te laisseras-tu mourir
    Te laisseras-tu mourir.

    Guillorie monts sur un arbre
    Pour voir ses chiens courir
    Carabi toto, Caraba marchand,
    Carabi Compère Guillorie
    Te laisseras-tu mourir, te laisseras-tu mourir.

    Guillorie monta sur un arbre
    Pour voir ses chiens courir
    La branche vient en rond par terre.
    Guillorie se cassa la jambe
    Carabi toto, Caraba marchand,
    Carabi Compère Guillorie,
    Tel seras-tu, te laisseras-tu mourir.

    Trois de ses dames ont parcouru
    Avec le plâtre de Paris
    Et lui mottèrent à ses jambes.

    *Chantée en mars 1949 par Mlle Irène Desselle, de Mansura, âge 15 ans, apprise à l’école. Variante: Allaire, Uldéric, Le chansonnier canadien

    These songs are dear to me for cultural reasons, but I also find them fascinating in how they've changed over time phonetically and otherwise.

    I understand, as I tend to get a bit excited about these things too, and most people tend to get bored by my talking about it.
     
    Last edited:

    OLN

    Senior Member
    French - France, ♀
    Intéressant, mais je ne vois pas dessur dans cette chanson.

    On le trouve dans le DMF :
    A. - "Sur" (...) Dessur qqn. "En position de supériorité par rapport à qqn" :
    B. - "Au-dessus de" (...) Dessur + nom de ville. "Aux environs de..."
    C. - "En plus de"
    DESSUR : Définition de DESSUR
    et davantage de variantes orthographiques dans le Godefroy :

    desor dessur.PNG

    ... sans oublier dedesur ;)
     

    le chat noir

    Senior Member
    French
    Oui pardon, je me suis laissé embarquer.

    Apparemment "dessur" était encore référencé dans un dictionnaire d'argot en 1950, mais j'ai quand même l'impression qu'en 2021 c'est de la langue morte.
     
    Top