From Middle French yeulx, yeux, from Old French ieuz, plural form of oeil ~ oil ~ uel. A regular outcome of Latin oculōs, the accusative plural of oculus (the source of œil). Mildred Pope explains its phonetic development as becoming *[ˈɔːʎos] > *[ˈweʎts] > *[weuts] via regular sound changes, followed by a regular dissimilation of [weu] to [jeu] (see for example Latin locus > *[lweu] > Old French lieu, iocus > *[dʒweu] > Old French gieu > jeu). The resulting [jeuts] then becomes modern [jø].
- IPA(key): /jø/
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- Rhymes: -jø
yeux m pl
- plural of , eyes
- Il a les yeux bleus. ― He has blue eyes.
- Il a de beaux yeux bleus. ― He has beautiful blue eyes.
Unlike most words beginning with consonantal y /j/, this word triggers liaison with valid preceding words. Eg:
- les yeux /le.z‿jø/
- les grands yeux /le.ɡʁɑ̃.z‿jø/
- Il a de beaux yeux /i.l‿ad.bo.z‿jø/
- ^ “œil” in Trésor de la langue française informatisé (The Digitized Treasury of the French Language).
- ^ Pope, Mildred (1934) From Latin to Modern French: with special consideration of Anglo-Norman, 2nd edition, Manchester: Manchester University Press, § 556:
- The triphthong ˈueu [...]; the first element was ordinarily differentiated to i and consonantalised to j, which merged in dž but differentiation was ordinarily checked by preceding labial and velar consonants: ueu > jö: ueuts > iös ieuz [...] džueu > džjö > žö jeu [...] fueu > fö feu