Appendix:Old French verbs

The Old French language is an extinct Romance language spoken from roughly 824 - 1340. It derived from Vulgar and Medieval Latin. Much like modern French and other modern Romance languages, the four principal Latin conjugations became three, but all infinitive endings were preserved as -(i)er, -oir, -re, and -ir/-ïr, instead of the Latin second and third conjugation endings being merged (-oir and -re are together became closed class and treated as third group).

Old French was a series of dialects and varied much more from region to region than modern French does, so the rules given here are very general, as it would be impractical to try to include all the regional variations in one appendix.

First conjugationEdit

First conjugation verbs mainly are derived from Latin first conjugation ones. The -are ending of Latin infinitives becomes -er as it does in modern French.

This verb conjugates as a first-group verb ending in -er. The forms that would normally end in *-ts, *-tt are modified to z, t. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Verbs in -ierEdit

Also have same origin with -er verbs, but instead became -ier after palatals and as a result of regular ejection of /j/ before open front vowels, or after palatals /dʒʲ/ or /tʃʲ/. Some verbs which also end in -ier like manier use the conjugation -er instead of -ier.

This verb conjugates as a first-group verb ending in -ier, with a palatal stem. These verbs are conjugated mostly like verbs in -er, but there is an extra i before the e of some endings. The forms that would normally end in *-ss, *-sss, *-sst are modified to s, s, st. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Second conjugationEdit

Second conjugation verbs mainly are descended from the fourth conjugation in Latin. The -ire ending of Latin infinitives becomes -ir, as it does in modern French, as well as many other Romance languages.

This verb conjugates as a second-group verb (ending in -ir, with an -iss- infix). Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Third conjugationEdit

The third conjugation, as in modern French, is made up of all the verbs that do not fit into the first and second conjugation. Therefore, there is no consistent conjugation. Although the section of -re verbs includes the conjugation, actually, however it has many exceptions.

Verbs in -reEdit

The -ere ending of Latin infinitives becomes -re as it does in modern French.

This verb conjugates as a third-group verb. Old French conjugation varies significantly by date and by region. The following conjugation should be treated as a guide.

Verbs in -oirEdit

The -ēre ending of Latin infinitives becomes -oir as it does in modern French. Unfortunately, there is no "regular" -oir verbs unlike the third conjugation infinitive -re in Modern French does, so all -oir verbs are irregular.

InfinitivesEdit

Old French often has more than one infinitive for the same verb. That is, more than one infinitive with the same conjugation. For first conjugation verbs, this often means -er and -ier forms being interchangeable, such as aprocher or aprochier, or cuider or cuidier. There are a few instances of third conjugation verbs with varying infinitives (usually one with a stressed root and one with an unstressed root):

Agreement of the past participleEdit

Unlike in modern French, the past participle can agree even when it comes after the direct object:

  • (Modern French) Elle dit : « Ami, Kaherdin arrive. J'ai vu son bateau sur la mer. »
  • (English) She says, "Friend, Kaherdin is coming. I have seen her boat on the sea."

veüe is the feminine singular form of the past participle of veoir. In modern French, vu does not agree with bateau (or nef, which still exists but is archaic).

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • Petite Grammaire de l’ancien français, XIIe - XIIIe siècles - Ed Faral, Éditions Hachette (1943), ISBN 2.01.002541.5
  • Histoire de la langue française, Jacques Leclerc, available on the website of the Laval University, Quebec.