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    Re: language and spatio-temporal orientation
    From: John Huth
    Date: 2010 Jul 26, 19:05 -0400
    I'll second what Marcel says.   About eight years ago, I visited my grandmother's homeland in northern Italy.  She was a Valdese - a Waldensian.    They were effectively protestants before it was considered to be cool.   They got chased out of Lyon in the 1100's, and then found a remote river valley in the French-Italian alps to hide out in, until the Duke of Savoy was nasty to them.

    In any case, when I visited, I found that they had about five villages separated by a few kilometers each.    The younger generation only spoke Italian, but there were a few octogenarians there who still spoke the local dialect, which was an old version of French.   What was bizarre was that each village had its own dialect.   So, I spent the better part of the evening dissecting the names for "brother", "sister", "mother" in each of the villages, marveling at how different they were in each, and how much they differed from the "standard" French I was taught in college.   

    For example - sister, soeur - nominally was sorri, and mother- mater, was morri and so forth.  

    I did the gamut of identifying numbers, cardinal points, names for relatives...just about everything I could think of, but I regret that I didn't take careful notes.   Fortunately there is a Waldensian society - perhaps someone kept notes on the dialect.


    On Mon, Jul 26, 2010 at 6:56 PM, Marcel Tschudin <marcel.e.tschudin@gmail.com> wrote:
    Peter Fogg you asked: "But why?" I'm not really able to answer your
    question. A possible reason may however consist in differences between
    dialects and something like a "high French". If I remember right there
    are also parts in France where very strong dialects are spoken. There
    seem to exist considerable efforts to "protect" the French language.
    In those parts which I visited people couldn't - at least not
    immediately - understand septente (70) or nonante (90).

    Marcel

    On Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 12:43 AM, Peter Fogg <piterr11@gmail.com> wrote:
    > Marcel Tschudin wrote:
    >>
    >> It's not only the names between 80 and 90 but also those between 70
    >> and 79 in France 79 would be 60+19 in Switzerland and possibly also
    >> some other French speaking parts (Belgium?) it would correspond to 79.
    >> In proper French their are no names for 70, 80 and 90. In some French
    >> speaking parts they have at least names for 70 and 90.
    >
    > But why?   This appears to be a regression, in that as late as the early
    > twentieth century in France the simpler form was favoured, although modern
    > French has gone (what seems to me to be) backwards in using, when speaking,
    > the more convoluted form, while linguistic satellites like the relevant
    > parts of Switzerland and Belgium, and Canada too have declined to follow
    > (well, why would they?).
    >
    > I have personal evidence of this.  My wife tells me that her grandfather,
    > born in the late nineteenth century and never educated beyond a
    > primary-school level, always referred to nonante and never said
    > quatre-vingt-dix as everyone else did, and as my wife was taught in school.
    >
    > She thought it was quaint and old fashioned, part of the old chap's charm,
    > but it appears to me to be quite the other way around.  I've been consulting
    > the modern oracle and have learned much about how these words for French
    > numbers may have originated, but nothing about why France changed these
    > spoken numbers in what seems like such an illogical way.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >




       
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