When did the French language begin to use elision?

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages, and Linguistics (EHL)' started by smilne, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. smilne New Member

    English - British

    Does anyone have any information about when elision started to be used in French? i.e. When did 'Je aime' become 'J'aime' or has it always been the latter? I'm writing an essay about the development of the language but I can't find any information on this!

    Thanks in advance.
  2. OLN

    OLN Senior Member

    French - France, ♀
    You might want to read books of linguistics for a thorough account of the history of the French language. (keywords: prononciation, euphonie, phonologie, hiatus, liaison, élision)
    Some bibliographic references here: http://linx.revues.org/274
  3. CapnPrep Senior Member

    Elision can be found in the very earliest French texts, for example d'ist di in avant "from this day forward" and returnar non l'int pois "cannot turn him away from it" in the Oaths of Strasbourg. So it is a very very old phenomenon. You may come across examples like je aime, but this can mean either that the pronoun was stressed (and so not elided), or that the elision was not indicated orthographically. Note that the apostrophe is a modern convention, absent from older texts.

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