Enviado por Marcos De Peder flag Denunciar. WALKER University of Calgary Verlan, a disguised form of French originating in the vernacular of the Parisian suburbs and now enjoying much broader use, is formed primarily by syllable metathesis and truncation. The results of these formative phonological processes provide useful evidence concerning the applicability or non-applicability of a number of phonotactic constraints that are found in the standard language.
Such phenomena give rise to a number of interesting theoretical and descriptive questions involving both the phonological structures resulting from the formal manipulations and the conditions of their use. Thanks to two anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier version of the manuscript. Villon, in his Ballades en jargon from the mids, presents one early and well-known example of a secret language from the French literary domain.
Number of October 15, Lepoutre provides a comprehensive study of the social conditions in one community where verlan is commonly used. WALKER the functions of slang, professional jargon or other indications of social class membership. Despite the prevalence of this title in modern editions, we should remember that being a! While earlier scholars tended to focus on the more obvious literary merits of the first one, the Ballade des dames du temps jadis, not dedicating as much study to the second and third, it has more recently20 been argued that the three should be read as a coherent whole.
The ballades function more as a critique of nostalgia: all three mock the perpetual trend of seeing the past as a more virtuous age, and the third, in its extreme and semantically redundant application of flexional -s, extends this to mocking the veneration of older forms of the language.
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Let us for now assume that Villon was indeed attempting to recreate an earlier form of 23 Fox, 49! To begin with phonology, the fact that the text is written in verse gives us the opportunity to investigate the question of syllabification. Similarly, word-final prevocalic schwa could have acted as a syllable nucleus in order to preserve hiatus.
Villon clearly did not make any effort to exploit the rhyme scheme in order to give an impression of archaic phonetic qualities; perhaps he was largely unaware of what these might have been, but this should not lead us to believe that he had no knowledge of other archaic linguistic features. Any contact he would have had with older forms of French would surely have been through the means of literature, with the result that its morphosyntactic properties would have been more apparent to him than its phonological ones.
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Turning our attention to the lexicon, we again find nothing of significance other than the 24 Ayres-Bennett, 98! It should be noted that these are both closed-class grammatical words, and that ly occurs in the Ballade in the same noun phrases as flexional -s: that is, in an identically indiscriminate way. It therefore seems appropriate to refer to this as a morphosyntactic rather than lexical phenomenon, and indeed to treat the use of ly and of -s as occurring in tandem.
Of the two, -s is today typically perceived as the more salient feature of Old French morphology, and has of course in the context of the poem received more attention from linguistic scholars: cilz and ly should not be ignored, but it should be acknowledged that their appearance in the Ballade tells us little that the appearance of flexional -s does not, other than confirming that Villon still seems so far to use only a small set of archaic linguistic features.
This seems more striking than the phonological situation, as the arcane quality of outdated vocabulary in older texts would surely have left as much of an impression on late-medieval readers as the use of flexional -s.
It is difficult to believe that Villon, a man of learning, would have gained knowledge, however slim, of the existence of flexional -s in earlier French but not of the differences in its lexicon. His failure to use archaic vocabulary can therefore, it seems, be ascribed to one of two reasons: either that he was afraid to use it because his knowledge of it was incomplete, or that he chose not to do so in order to draw more attention to the stereotyped pastiche of archaic morphology he presents to us, which serves as a more consistent marker of!
Incomprehensibly archaic vocabulary would conceivably also have acted as a hindrance to readers, whereas staying within the realm of morphological manipulation has the advantage of giving the poem an old-fashioned quality whilst not compromising on intelligibility. In the domain of syntax, a few points of interest can be noted.
One interesting feature of the Ballade, however, is sentence length, which can be investigated by placing the Ballade in juxtaposition with the other two Ubi sunt poems. Each one follows a pattern where the full-length stanzas tend to consist of a seven-line sentence followed by the refrain, which syntactically stands alone; however, in the first and second ballades there appears a stanza where the seven lines are broken up into shorter sentences.
The number of lines per sentence for each poem, divided into stanzas, is shown below:! What relevance does this unchanging sentence length have to the use of archaic features? It can be argued, as above, that this syntactic strictness gives the poem an artificial quality, and the use of longer sentences, being less representative of unguarded or casual registers of French and more so of the more carefully crafted, more old-fashioned tone of a work of formal literature, does indeed hint at an older form of the language.
This idea is supported by the presence of another syntactic feature within the Ballade, which gives the poem a more obviously archaic quality: the bringing forward of the attributive genitive to before the noun it modifies. This occurs in four places in the poem:! The excessive application of these devices surely mirrors that of the liberal use in the poem of flexional -s, which is, needlessly but systematically, present as -s or -z at the end of every line, and hence particularly noticeable, an extreme reminder of its archaic quality.
In repeating -s so frequently, Villon appears to prioritise the act of giving an exaggerated impression of archaic language over any desire to conform to grammatical standards! However, this gives the impression that texts from the Old French period as defined today exhibited a regular system of nominal morphology from which deviation rarely took place.
The necessary requirements of a written grammar, including conciseness and usability, do of course force it to present a somewhat simplified view of the language it describes, and in compiling grammars of Old French scholars are faced with the daunting task of representing numerous regional dialects over some years of language change. Thus, they are constrained to giving an account of the features they believe to be most representative of that period of the language, and the case system is an obvious candidate for inclusion: matching neither the six-case system of Latin nor the zero-case system of 25 Foulet, 4 26 see Einhorn, 19!
Yet mapping this system onto Old French carries the danger of overstating the degree to which it was used in texts from the period.
While such a declensional system is an obvious indicator of Old French, it should not be assumed that the grammatical feature and the stage of the language, as far as we can define it, correspond with each other neatly. Indeed, while modern grammars tell us that -s and similar morphological features are clear markers of Old French, there is no guarantee that there would have been any consciousness of this idea in the fifteenth century.
Perhaps, indeed, Villon was even poking fun at earlier texts in which such unexpected forms were already present to a lesser degree.
In particular, his reputation as a poet of contradictions is enhanced by much of his work, wherein he plays on the conflict between expectation and reality by subverting well- known themes, as we have already seen in discussing the Ubi sunt poems. If, on a casual reading, fifteenth-century readers made this assumption, they must also have believed the verb to be plural, and would therefore have mistaken it for sont without much difficulty.
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Of course, having proceeded a little and discovered the insistence with which Villon applies final -s to each line, they would have been forced to recalibrate their decision. This, however, still does not answer the question of whether Villon would have been aware of how to use the two-case system in a way consistent with earlier texts, had he chosen to do so. While we are able to make some use of biographical information for this purpose, other clues about his learning and the sources of his literary frame of reference are provided within his poetry itself.
It does not seem implausible that his use of the case system could be another diversion of this type, suggesting on the surface that he does not have any great degree of linguistic understanding, while we are simultaneously shown otherwise by the accompanying poetic devices. It is less likely that medieval French texts would have been encountered in this setting; still, Villon clearly has a good knowledge of the Roman de la Rose, however much he tries, on the surface, to disguise it.
Wider knowledge of older French Writers, though, must bear their readership in mind, as must we: Villon himself was 40 Fox, 13 41 Huot, !
Here, we can direct our attention to the Ballades en jargon: these were ostensibly aimed at the criminals who used such jargon themselves, each being dedicated to a particular gang, but Guiraud demonstrates two further ways of reading each ballade,42 implying perhaps that they may additionally have been targeted at an educated audience more accustomed to linguistic puzzles. If the former, it seems strange that Villon should have included them in the first place: it is surely more likely that at least some of his readers would have recognised the artifice of misquotation.
Indeed, we find that Froissart explains, in the Prison amoureuse, that true pleasure comes from interpretation and decipherment and gloss, not just from a surface reading, and Huot, in her study of manuscripts of the Rose, shows readers energetically scribbling notes and glosses and relishing the cultural and intellectual connections of text with text.