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zompist bboard • View topic - /ɑ/ /ɛː/ in Quebec / Belgian French: inflectional paradigm?

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2018 4:11 pm 
Sanci
Sanci

Joined: Thu Feb 13, 2014 6:26 am
Posts: 24
Location: Shenzhen, Guangdong, China
French varieties in places like Quebec and Belgium seem to maintain the distinction between /a/ and /ɑ/. Does this imply that, in verb conjugation, 3sg and 2sg are distinct in the future tense as well as wherever 3sg ends in -a and 2sg ends in -as?

Likewise, /ɛː/ and /ɛ/ is said to be distinguished as well. Which one does -ais use as an ending in the imperfect and conditional tenses? Is there a distinction between -ais, -ait, and aît?

e.g. are the pronunciations of each pair of verbs below distinct?

il a ↔ tu as;
il va ↔ tu vas;
il mangera ↔ tu mangeras;
il dîna (past historic) ↔ tu dînas (past historic) ↔ (qu')il dînât (imperfect subjunctive);

il sait ↔ je sais, tu sais;
il fait ↔ je fais, tu fais;
il changerait ↔ je changerais, tu changerais;
il pensait ↔ je pensais, tu pensais;
il connaît ↔ je connais, tu connais;
...

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Tone: Chao's notation.
Apical vowels: [ɿ]≈[z̞̩], [ʅ]≈[ɻ̞̩], [ʮ]≈[z̞̩ʷ], [ʯ]≈[ɻ̞̩ʷ].
Vowels: [ᴇ]=Mid front unrounded, [ᴀ]=Open central unrounded, [ⱺ]=Mid back rounded, [ⱻ]=Mid back unrounded.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:32 am 
Avisaru
Avisaru

Joined: Sat Mar 28, 2015 7:05 pm
Posts: 387
Actually, the distinction between /a/ and /ɑ/ seems to be generally neutralized in favor of /ɑ/ in word-final phonetically open syllables in Quebec French. (I'm saying "phonetically" open just to clarify that I'm not talking about some kind of SPE-esque morpho-phonological analysis of French where a word like chat is considered to count as a closed syllable with underlying coda /t/ just because it is spelled with a "t" and related to words with a pronounced [t].) See p. 70 in "", Douglas C. Walker (1984). I haven't read any more recent source that discusses this as a phonological rule, but /ɑ/ in chat is mentioned in the following blog post: .

So word-final inflectional suffixes "a" and "as" would apparently both be pronounced as /ɑ/. (Phonetically, /ɑ/ in this position is apparently fairly short relative to pre-consonantal /ɑ/, and word-final /ɑ/ may have a quality more like [ɔ].)

Likewise, in word-final position in Quebec French, /ɛ/ is lowered to something like [æ] and there is apparently no distinction between /ɛ/ and /ɛː/: p. 75 shows laid, lait, frais and prêt as all having the same vowel [æ], and says "the endings of the imperfect and conditional singular (-ais/ait) furnish a large
number of realizations of lowered /ɛ/ : je pourrais [ʃpuræ], il était [jetæ] and so on".

Vowel length in French is a complicated topic because the present-day varieties that do have length distinctions don't necessarily have the same distribution of long and short vowels as the commonly-described old-fashioned France French variety that had vowel length. For example, I don't know much about Belgium French, but if I remember correctly there can be long vowels due to the historical presence of word-final schwa.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm 
Niš
Niš

Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2018 10:02 am
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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 7:09 am 
Sanci
Sanci
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Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 2:15 pm
Posts: 53
Location: Montreal, Canada

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