From Classic Encyclopedia 1911
PROVENCAL LANGUAGE. The name Provencal 6 is used to comprehend all the varieties of Romanic speech formerly spoken and written, and still generally used by country people in the south of France. The geographical limits of this infinitely varied idiom cannot be defined with precision, because it is conterminous on the north, south and east with idioms of the same family, with which almost at every point it blends by insensible gradations. Roughly speaking it may be said to be contained between the Atlantic on the west, the Pyrenees and Mediterranean on the south, and the Alps on the east, and to be bounded on the north by a line proceeding from the Gironde to the Alps, and passing through the departments of Gironde, Dordogne, Haute Vienne, Creuse, Allier, Loire, Rhone, Isere and Savoie. These limits are to some extent conventional. True, they are fixed in accordance with the mean of linguistic characters; but it is self-evident that according to the importance attached to one character or another they may be determined differently.
T. Different Names. - Though the name Provençal is generally adopted to designate the Romanic idiom of this region, it must not be supposed that this name has been imposed by general consensus, or that it rests upon any very firm historical basis. In the southern part of Gaul, Romanic developed itself, so to say, in the natural state of language. Contrary to what took place in other Romanic countries, no local variety here raised itself to the rank of the literary idiom par excellence. While in Italy the Florentine, in France the French dialect proper (that is to say, the dialect of the tie de France), succeeded little by little in monopolizing literary use, to the exclusion of the other dialects, we do not find that either the Marseillais or the Toulousain idiom was ever spoken or written outside of Marseilles or Toulouse. In consequence of this circumstance, no name originally designating the language of a town or of a small district came to be employed to designate the language of the whole of southern France; and on the other hand the geographical region described above, having never had any special name, was not able to give one to the idiom. .
In the middle ages the idiom was spoken of under various appellations: Romans or lenga romana was that most generally used. The name was employed by the authors of the Leys d'amors, a treatise on grammar, poetry and rhetoric, composed at Toulouse in the Toth century. But while it is capable of being applied and in fact, has been applied, to each of the Romanic languages individually, the term is too general to be retained in a particular case; though it was revived in the beginning of the 19th century by Raynouard, the author of the Lexiqueroman. Roman or langue romane is no longer in use among scholars to design the Romanic language of the south of France. In the r3th century a poet born in Catalonia, on the southern slope of the Pyrenees, Raimon Vidal of Besalu, introduced the name of Limousin language, probably on account of the great reputation of some Limousin troubadours; but he took care to define the expression, which he extended beyond its original meaning, by saying that in speaking of Limousin he must be understood to include Saintonge, Quercy, Auvergne, &c. (Rasos de trobar, ed. Stengel, p. 70). This expression found favour in Spain, and especially in Catalonia, where the little treatise of Raimon Vidal was extensively read. The most ancient lyric poetry of the Catalans (13th and 14th centuries), composed on. the model of the poetry of the troubadours, was often styled in Spain poesia lemosina, and in the same country lengua lemosina, long designated at once the Provençal and the old literary Catalan.
The name Provencal as applied to language is hardly met with in the middle ages, except in the restricted sense of the language of Provence proper, i.e. of the region lying south of Dauphine on the eastern side of the Rhone. Raimon Feraut, who composed about 1300, a versified life of St Honorat, uses it, but he was himself a native of Provence. We can also cite the title of a grammar, the Donatz proensals, by Hugh Faidit (about 1250); but this work was composed in north Italy, and we may conceive that the Italians living next to Provence employed the name Provencal somewhat vaguely without inquiring into the geographical limits of the idiom so called. In fact, the name Provencal became traditional in Italy, and in the beginning of the 16th century Bembo could write, "Era per tutto it Ponente la favella Provenzale, ne tempi ne quali ella fiori, in prezzo et in istima molta, et tra tutti gli altri idiomi di quelle parti, di gran lunga primiera. Conciosiacosa che ciascuno, o Francese, o Fiamingo, o Guascone, o Borgognone, o altramente di queue nationi che egli si fosse, it quale bene scrivere e specialmente verseggiar volesse, quantunque egli Provenzale non fosse, lo faceva Provenzalmente" (Prose, ed. 1529, fol. viii.).1 This passage, in which the primacy of the Provençal tongue is manifestly exaggerated, is interesting as showing the name Provençal employed, though with little precision, in the sense in which we now apply it.
1 "The Provencal speech in the times in which it flourished was prized and held in great esteem all over the West, and among all the other idioms of that region was by far the foremost; so that every one, whether Frenchman, Fleming, Gascon, Burgundian, or of what nation soever, who wished to write and versify well, although he was not a Provencal, did it in the Provencal language." Another designation, which is supported by the great authority of Dante, is that of lingua d'oco (langue d'oc). In his treatise, De vulgari eloquio (bk. i. chs. viii. and ix.), Dante divides the languages of Latin origin into three idioms, which he characterizes by the affirmative particles used in each, oc. oil, si; " nam alii oc, alii oil, alii si, affirmando loquuntur, ut puta Hispani, Franci, et Latini." As is seen, he attributes the affirmation oc to the Spaniards, which is of course erroneous; but there is no doubt that to the Spaniards he joined more correctly the inhabitants of southern France, for in the Vita nuova, ch. xxv., and in the Convivio, I. x., he speaks of the lingua d'oco as having been long celebrated for its poets, which can apply only to the language of the troubadours. The name langue d'oc occurs also as early as the end of the 13th century, in public acts, but with a different sense, that of the province of Languedoc, as constituted after the union of the county of Toulouse to the French king's ,dominion in 1271. In the royal acts of the end of the 13th and of the 14th century panes linguae occitanae or pays de langue d'oc ' .designates the union of the five seneschalates of Perigueux, (Carcassone, Beaucaire, Toulouse and Rodez; that is to say, the province of Languedoc, such as it existed till 1790. Some Scholars, following the example of. Dante, still actually use the term langue d'oc in opposition to langue d'oui; but these names have the inconvenience that they take such a secondary fact as the form of the affirmative particle as an essential character. Moreover, it can hardly help to distinguish the other Romanic languages, as langue de si would cause a confusion between Italian and Spanish. Provencal, without being entirely satisfactory, since in principle it applies solely to the language of Provence, is, notwithstanding, the least objectionable name that can be adopted. In addition to its being in some sort consecrated by the use made of it by the Italians, who were the first after the Renaissance to study the works of the troubadours, it must not be forgotten that, just as the Roman provincia, in which the name originated, extended across the south of Gaul from the Alps to Toulouse and the Pyrenees, so still in the middle ages provincia, provinciales, were understood in a very wide sense to designate not only Provence strictly so called, i.e. the present departments of Alpes Maritimes, Basses Alpes, Var, Bouches du Rhone, but also a very considerable part of Languedoc and the adjacent countries. Thus in the 12th century the chronicler Albert of Aix-la-Chapelle (Albertus Aquensis) places the. town of Puy (Haute Loire) in Provincia. 2. General Characters of the Language in its Ancient State. - The Provencal language, within the limits above indicated, cannot be said to have any general characters really peculiar to it. Such of its characters as are found in all the varieties of the language are met with also in neighbouring idioms; such as are not found elsewhere are not general characters, that is to say, are manifested only in certain varieties of Provencal. In reality "Provencal language" does not designate, properly speaking, a linguistic unity; it is merely a geographical expression.
Tonic or Accented Vowels
Latin a is preserved in an open syllable a mar e, amar, a m a t u m, amat, as well as in a closed syllable c a r n e m, earn. This character is common also to the Romanic of Spain and Italy; but it is one of the best distinguishing marks between Provençal and French, for, to the north, this a, when in an open syllable, does not pass beyond a line which would run approximately through Blaye, Coutras (Gironde), Riberac, Nontron (Dordogne), Bellac (Haute Vienne), Boussac (Creuse), Montlucon, Gannat (Allier), Montbrison (Loire). Starting eastward from Lyons or thereabouts, there appears a notable linguistic fact which is observable in varied proportions in the departments of Ain, Isere and Savoie, and in Romanic Switzerland. This is, that accented Latin a in an open syllable, when preceded by a mouillure or palatalization (whatever the origin of this), becomes e; on the contrary, when there is no mouillure, it remains a. Thus we find in the Meditations of Marguerite d'Oingt (Lyons, c. 1300) ensennier, deleitier, as against desirrar, recontar, regardar. Of these two endings, the former, -ier, is that which is found regularly in French, the second that which is regular in Pr. Pure Pr. would have -ar in both cases (ensenhar, deleitar, desirrar. &c.); Fr. would have -ier (enseignier, delitier) and -er (desirer). G. I. Ascoli has given the name of Francoprovencal (franco-provenzale) to the varieties of Romanic in which we find this duality of treatment in Latin a, according as it was or was not preceded by a palatalized sound. Lat. e, I become close e (Ital. e chiuso; Fr. e) :ha b e r e, aver, c r e di t, cre, m e(n)s e m, mes. f id e m, fe, p i 1 u m, pel. This character is not only common to Italian and Spanish, but also extends over the French domain on its western side as far as Britanny. Certain exceptions noticed in French do not occur in Pr.: thus m e r c Ed e m, c e r a, p r(e h)e- (n)s u m, v e n en u m, which give in Fr. merci, cire, pris, venin, where we should have expected mercei, ceire, Preis, venein, give regularly in Pr. merce, cera, pres, vere. Lat. e preserves, as in Italy, the sound of open e (Ital. e aperto) : p e d e m, pe, l e v a t, leva, 1 e pore m, lebre. In certain determinate cases, this e, from about the 13th century onwards, may diphthongize to ie: e g o, eu, then ieu, h e r i, er, ier, f e r i o, fer, fier. Lat. i is preserved, as in all the Romanic languages: a m i c u m, anti, r i p a, riba. Lat. i is treated like I long when it precedes (with hiatus) another vowel: p i u m, p i a, piu, pia, via, via, 1 i g a t, lia. Lat. o, is result in one and the same sound, that of Ital. u, Fr. ou (Eng oo) . The same phenomenon takes place in the north of Italy and in the Romanic of Switzerland. This sound, which is styled by the Donat Proensal the o estreit (close o), is usually symbolized in the early texts by simple o, and is thus confounded in spelling, though not in pronunciation, with the open o (o Tare of the Donat Proensal), which comes from Lat. h. Lat. u becomes ii (i.e. Fr. u), as all over France, and also in part of north Italy: u r u m, mur (= mur), d u r u m, dur (=dur). Lat. au is rigorously preserved over the whole extent of the Pr. domain: a u rum, aur, a l a u d a, alauza, pa u p ere m, paubre. At present the preservation of Lat. au does not extend much outside the Prov. domain; it is, however, found in certain parts of the Ladina zone in Switzerland (upper Rhine valley), and in Friuli, and it is to be supposed to have been once general over the whole of that zone. It is attested as late as the 16th century in the Vaudois valleys of Piedmont, and there are also examples of it in old Catalan. Elsewhere the diphthong has regularly become open o (a u r u m, Ital. and Span, oro. Fr. or, &c.). Atonic Vowels. - The atonic vowels (i.e. vowels of the unaccented syllables) which precede the accented syllable present no very characteristic phenomenon; but it is otherwise with those that follow the accented syllable, the post-tonic vowels. The Pr. is one of the Romanic idioms which, like the French, but unlike the Castilian and many dialects of Italy, admit of only one syllable after the accent. But the rules are not quite the same as in French, and in some exceptional cases real proparoxytones seem to have been preserved by ancient documents. In French the only vowel which can stand after the accented syllable is "e feminine," otherwise called "e mute." In Prov. a and e are the most frequent vowels in this position, but i and o also occur. In French the first of the two posttonic vowels of a Latin proparoxytone always disappears; in Prov. it tends to be preserved, when followed by one of the consonants n, r,1,d: te rminum, te rmen, ho minem, omen, a ngeluin, angel, se ca 1 em, se. guel, cr e s c ere, crei sser, te pidu m, te be. We have some instances of two syllables being retained after the tonic in the extreme south and south-east: dime negue (d i e s d o m i n i c a), cano. negue (c a n o n i c u s), mo negue, mo nega (m o n a c u s, m o n a c a), ma nega (m a n i c a, a handle), ca nebe (cannabis), later dimergue, canorgue, morgue, morga, marga, carbe; however, when such apparently proparoxytonic forms appear in poetry, the ending -egue, -ega, -ebe counts only as one syllable, from which it appears that the copyist, not the author, is responsible for them. Again, names of places ending in -anicus, -onicus, as Colonicus, De-Athatianicus, Dominitianicus, &c., now Colorgues, Dassargues, Domessargues, in department Gard, appear in the 12th and 13th centuries as Colonegues, Dazanegues, Domensanegues. Moreover Prov. presents in certain words coming from Latin proparoxytones the trace of forms which (like Italian) admitted two atonic vowels after the accented syllable: thus we have porte que and po. rgue (p o r tic u rn), Fabre. ga, a place name, and fa rga (f a b r i c a), perte ga and pe. rga (p e r t i c a), feme. na and fe. mna (f e m i n a). We have also lagre ma (1 a c r y m a), but a form accented like Fr. larme does not exist. There seems to be no doubt that these forms, in which a displacement of the Latin accent is observed, were at an earlier period pronounced as proparoxytones (po.rtegue, fa.brega, pe.rtega e mena, la grema). Consonants. - The boundary usually recognized between Prov. and French is founded upon linguistic characters furnished by the vowels, especially a; if it had been determined by characters furnished by the consonants, the line of demarcation would have to be drawn farther south, because the consonantal system which is regarded as proper to French really extends in its main features over the northern zone of the Provençal region as defined above. As with the vowels, only a few of the salient facts can here be indicated. C initial, or second consonant of a group, before a (c a b a 11 u m, me r c a t u m), preserves its Latin sound (= k) in the greater part of the Prov. region. But in the northern zone it takes the sound of tch (Eng. ch in chin) as in Old French, and this sound is still pretty well preserved, although there is here and there a tendency to the present sound of ch in Fr. (=sh Eng.). The place names Castellum, Castanetum, Casale give Chastel. Chastanet, Chazal, in Dordogne, Haute Vienne, Correze, Puy de Dome, Cantal, Haute Loire, the north of Lozere, of Ardeche, of Drome, of Isere, and of Hautes Alpes, and Castel, Castanet, Cazal, farther to the south. Analogously, g initial, or second consonant of a group, followed by a, becomes j (i.e. dzh=0. Fr. and Eng. j in jam) in the same zone; G a r r i c a is Jarrija, Jarria in Dordogne, Correze, Cantal, Haute Loire, Isere, and Garriga farther south. Between two vowels t becomes d; edat, emperador, nadal, amada aetatem, imperatorem, natale, amata). This was also the case in 0. Fr. until about the 10th or iith century (honurede, emperedur, lavadures, &c., in the Life of St Alexis). But in the northern zone this d, representing a Latin t, fell away as early as in French. In an 11th-century text from the environs of Valence we read muraor, coroaa (*m u r a t o r e m, c o r r o g a t a), Fr. corvee (P. Meyer, Recueil d'anciens textes, Provencal section, No. 40). In the south, Latin d between two vowels was preserved almost everywhere until about the middle of the 12th century, when it became z (as in Fr. and Eng. zero): cruzel, azorar, auzir, vezer (crudelem,adorare,audire,videre). In the 14th and 15th centuries this z, like every z or s soft of whatever origin, was liable to become r (lingual, not uvular): aurir, veren (a u d i r e, v i d e n t e m). In Bearn and Gascony d remained; but in the northern zone Latin d, instead of changing into z, r, disappeared as in French and quite as early. The poem of Boethius, of which the MS. is of the nth century, shows in this respect great hesitation: e.g. d preserved in chaden, credet, tradar, veder (c a d e n t e m, *crededit, *t radar e, vide re); d fallen away in creessen, feeltat, traazo, vent, fear (*c r e d e s s e n t, f i d e l i t a t e m, *t r adationem, *vidutum,p.ple.ofvidere,fidare). Oneof the most general facts in Pr. is the habit of rejecting Latin final t, of which examples to any number are presented by the verbs. In French this t was formerly retained when it followed a vowel which remained, aimet, entret (a m a t, i n t r a t), and still remains (in writing at least) when, in Latin, it follows a consonant, aiment, fait, vit (amant, f a c i t, *fact, v i v i t, *v i v t); but in Pr. the t is dropped in all cases, even in the most ancient texts: aman, fai, viu. Yet in the northern zone we find the t retained in the 3rd per. pl. of verbs, -ant, -ont (Lat. -a n t, -u n t). H has gone completely (or at least only appears through orthographic tradition, and very intermittently, (h)erba, (h)onor, (h)umil, &c.), not only in words of Latin origin, which is the case in Old French, but even in Teutonic words (anta, ardit, arenc, ausberc, elm, Fr. honte, hardi, hareng, haubert, heaume, with h aspirated). By this feature, the northern limits of which are not yet well determined, the Provencal attaches itself to the Romanic of the southern countries. N final, or standing in Latin between two vowels of which the second is to be dropped, disappears in the whole central part of the Pr. domain: gran gra, ben be, en e, ven y e, fin fi, un u (g r a n u m, be n e, i n, v e n i t, f i n e m, u n u m). The forms with n belong to the eastern part (left of the Rhone), the western part (Gascony, but not Beam), and the region of the Pyrenees. It is possible that this loss of n went along with a lengthening of final vowel; at least, in Bearnese when the n falls away the vowel is doubled: caperaa, besii, boo (capellanum,vicinum,bonum),&c.
These are the most important characteristics of the consonants in relation to the extent of space over which they prevail. Others, which appear only within a more limited area, are perhaps more curious on account of their strangeness. It will suffice to mention a few which belong to the district bounded on the west and south by the Atlantic, the Basque provinces and the Pyrenees, and which extends northward and eastward towards the Garonne and its affluents, as far as the Gironde. (This includes Beam, Bigorre and Gascony.) Here the sound v no longer exists, being replaced generally by b; between two vowels, in Gascony, by u with the sound of English w. Initial r assumes a prosthetic a: arram, arre, Arrobert (r a m u m, r e m, R o b e r t u m). Ll between two vowels becomes r: aperar, caperan, or (Beam) caperaa, bera, era (a p e 1 a r e, c a p e l l a n u m, b e l l a, i l l a). On the contra:y, at the end of words (viz. in Romanic) ll becomes g or t, d; the former change seems to belong rather to Hautes and Basses Pyrenees, Landes, the latter to Gironde, Lot et Garonne, Gers: eg, ed, et (ille), arrasteg, -ed, -et(r a s t e 1 1 u m), casteg, -ed, -et (c a s t e 1 1 u m), capdeg, -ed, -et (c a pi t e 1 1 u m), whence Fr. cadet (in 16th century capdet, originally a Gascon word). For further details upon the consonants in this region of south-west France see Romania, iii. 435-43 8, v. 368-369.
Old Provencal has, like Old French, a declension consisting of two cases for each number, derived from the Latin nominative and accusative. In certain respects this declension is more in conformity with etymology in Provencal than in Old French, having been less influenced by analogy. The following are the types of this declension, taking them in the order of the Latin declensions.
(1) Words in -a coming from Latin 1st decl„ increased by certain words coming from Latin neuter plurals treated in Prov. as feminine singulars; one form only for each number: sing. causa, pl. causas. (2) Words of the Latin 2nd decl., with a few from the 4th; two forms for each number: sing. subject cavals (c a b all u s), object caval (c a ball u m); pl. subject caval (c a b a l l i), object cavals (c a b a 11 o s. (3) Words of Latin 3rd decl. Here there are three Latin types to be considered. The first type presents the same theme and the same accentuation in all the cases, e.g. can i s. The second presents the same accentuation in the nominative singular and in the other cases, but the theme differs: c o m e s, c o m i t e m. In the third type the accentuation changes: pecc a t o r, pecc at o r e m. The first type is naturally confounded with nouns of the 2nd decl.: sing. subj. cans or cas, obj. can or ca. The second and third types are sometimes followed in their original variety; thus coins answers to c o m e 5, and co mte to c o m i t e m. But it has often happened that already in vulgar Latin the theme of the nominative singular had been refashioned after the theme of the oblique cases. They said in the nom. sing. h e r e d i s, pa r e n ti s, principis, for heres, parens, princeps. Consequently the difference both of theme and of accentuation which existed in Latin between nominative and accusative has disappeared in Pr. This reconstruction of the nominative singular after the theme of the other cases takes place in all Latin words in -as (except abbas), in those in -io, in the greater part of those in -or, at least in all those which have an abstract meaning. Thus we obtain bontatz (b o n itat is for bon i tas) and bontat (bonitatem), ciutatz (civitatis forcivitas) and ciutat (civitatem), amors (amoris for a m o r) and amor (a m o r e m). All present participles in the subject case singular are formed in this way upon refashioned Latin nominatives: amans (a mantis for a man s), amant (a m a nt e m). It is to be remarked that in regard to feminine nouns Pr. is more etymological than French. In the latter feminine nouns have generally only one form for each number: bonte for the subj. as well as for the obj. case, and not bontes and bonte; in Pr. on the contrary bontatz and bontat. Still, in a large number of nouns the original difference of accentuation between the nominative singular and the other cases has been maintained, whence there result two very distinct forms for the subjunctive and objective cases. Of these words it is impossible to give a full list here; we confine ourselves to the exhibition of a few types, remarking that these words are above all such as designate persons: a bas aba t, pa. stre pastor, sor soro r, cantai re cantado r (c a n t a t o r, -o r e m), emperai re emperad or, bar baro , cornpa nh companho ., lai re lairo t r o, -o n e m). To this class belong various proper names: E ble Eblo , Gui Guio , Uc Ugo . A few have even come from the 2nd decl., thus Pei res Peiro , Pons Ponso , Ca rles, Carlo, the vulgar Latin types being Petrus, -onem, Pontius, -onem, Carolus, -onem. (On this peculiarity of the vulgar Latin declension, see Philipon, in Romania, xxxi. 213-228.) We may mention also geographical adjectives, such as Bret Breto , Bergo nhz Bergonho , Gasc Gasco , &c. The plural of the 3rd decl. is like that of the second: subj. aba t, soro r, cantado r, emperado. r, baro , companho , lairo.; obj. aba tz, soro rs, cantado rs, emperado. rs, baro s, companho s, lairo s, as if the Latin nominative pl. had been a b b a t i, s o r o r i, c a n t a t o r i, &c. It is barely possible that such forms actually existed in vulgar Latin; no trace of them, however, is found in the texts, save in the glosses of Cassel (8th century), sapient i for sa pie nte s, and in a great many ancient charters parent or u m, which implies a nominative parent i. The words of the 4th and 5th declensions present no points requiring mention here.
This declension of two cases is a notable character of the whole Romanic of Gaul, north as well as south, i.e. French as well as Provençal. It must be noted, however, that in the south-west it existed only in a very restricted measure. In the old texts of Gascony it is no longer general in the 13th century. In Beam it appears to have been completely unknown, the nouns and adjectives having only one form, usually that of the objective case. In Catalan poetry its application is often laid down in the 13th century, but as the charters and documents free from literary influence show no trace of it, its introduction into the poetry of this country may be assumed to be an artificial fact. In the region where it is best observed, i.e. in the centre and north of the Provencal territory, it tends to disappear from ordinary use already in the 13th century. The poet-grammarian Raimon Vidal of Besalu, who flourished about the middle of the century, points out in various troubadours transgressions of the rules of declension, and recognizes that in colloquial speech they are no longer observed. The general tendency was to retain only a single form, that of the objective case. For certain words, however, it was the subjunctive form which survived. Thus in modern Pr. the words in the ending -ai re (answering to Lat. -a t o r) are as frequent as those in -adou (repr. - a t o r e m). But there is a slight difference of meaning between these two suffixes.
Adjectives, generally speaking, agree in flexion with the nouns. But there is one fact particular to adjectives and past participles which is observed with more or less regularity in certain 12th and 13th-century texts. There is a tendency to mark more clearly than in the substantives the flexion of the subj. pl., chiefly when the adjective or participle is employed predicatively. This is marked by the addition of an i, placed, according to the district, either after the final consonant, or else after the last vowel so as to form a diphthong with it. The following are examples from an ancient translation of the New Testament (MS. in library of the Palais Saint-Pierre, Lyons, end of 13th century): "Dic a vos que no siatz consirosi" (ne solliciti sitis, Matt. vi. 25); "que siatz visti d'els" (ut videamini ab eis, Matt. vi. I); "e davant los reis els princeps seretz menadi" (et ad praesides et ad reges ducemini, Matt. x. 18). In charters the 12th and 13th centuries we find in the subj. case pl., and especially in this predicative use, pagaig, certifiaih, acossailhaih, representing pagati, certificati, adconsiliati.
A similar peculiarity is noticeable also in masculine substantives, but appears only in a very limited number of texts; so auzil, auzelh [Lat. a v i c ell i] (see A. Thomas, in Romania, xxxiv. 353). It is in the verbs that the individuality of the different Romanic idioms manifests itself most distinctly. At a very early date the etymological data were crossed, in various directions and divers manners according to the countr y, by analogical tendencies. The local varieties became little by little so numerous in the Romaliic conjugation that it is not easy to discover any very characteristic features observed over a territory so vast as that of which the limits have been indicated at the commencement of this article. The following are, however, a few.
The infinitives are in -ar, -er, -re, -ir, corresponding to the Lat. - a r e, - e r e, - e r e, - i r e, respectively; as in the whole Romanic domain, the conjugation in -ar is the most numerous. The table of verbs, which forms part of the Pr. grammar called the Donatz Proensals (13th century), contains 473 verbs in -ar, 101 in -er and -re, 115 in -ir. In the -ar conjugation we remark one verb from another conjugation: far (cf. Ital. fare) from face r e. The conjugations in -er and -re encroach each upon the territory of the other. The three Lat. verbs c a de r e, cape r e, s a p e r e have become -er verbs (caze r, caber, saber) as in Fr. cheoir, -cevoir (recevoir), savoir; and several other verbs waver between the two: crede r, creer, and crei re (c r e d e r e), quere r and que rre (qua er e r e). This fluctuation is most frequent in the case of verbs which belonged originally to the -ere conjugation: arde r and a rdre, plaze r and plai re, taze r and tai re (a r d e r e, p l a c e r e, t a c e r e). Next to the -ar conjugation, that in -ir is the one which. has preserved most formative power. As in the other Romanic languages, it has welcomed a large number of German verbs, and has attracted several verbs which etymologically ought to have belonged to the conjugations in -er and -re: emplir i mp l e r e), jauzir (g a u d e r e), cosir (c o n s u e r e), erebir (eri-pere), fugir (fugere), seguir (*sequere=sequi) also segre. Except in the -ar conjugation, the ending of the infinitive does not determine in a regular manner the mode of forming the different tenses. The present participles are divided into two series: those in -an (obj. sing.) for the first conj., those in -en for the others. In this the Pr. distinguishes itself very clearly from the French, in which all present participles have -ant. There is also in Pr. a participial form or verbal adjective which is not met with in any other Romanic language, except Rumanian, where, moreover, it is employed in a different sense; this is a form in -do r, -doi ra, which supposes a Latin type - t o r i u s, or - t u r i u s; the sense is that of a future participle, active for the intransitive verbs, passive for the transitive: endevenido r, -doi ra, " that is to happen"; fazedo.r, doi ra, " that is to be done"; punido-r, -doi ra, " to be punished." In conjugation properly so called we may remark the almost complete disappearance of the Lat. preterite in -chi, of which traces are found only in texts written in the neighbourhood of the Frenchspeaking region, and in Beam. In return, a preterite which seems to have been suggested by the Latin d e d i, s t e t i, has increased and become the type of the tense almost everywhere in the -ar conjugation, and in many verbs in -er and -re: amei , ame st, ame t, ame m, ame tz, ame ron. In French there is a form like this, or at least having the same origin, only in a small number of verbs, none of which belong to the first conjugation, and in these only in the 3rd pers. sing. and pl. (perdiet, perdierent; entendiet, entendierent, &c.). It is well known that reduplicated preterites had greatly multiplied in vulgar Latin: there have been recovered such forms as a s c e ndiderat, ostendedit, pandiderunt, adtendedit i n c e n d i d e r a t, &c. (see Schuchardt, Vokalismus des Vulgarlateins, i. 35, iii. 10; cf. Romania, ii. 477). But, in order to explain the Pr. form -ei, -est, -et (with open b), we must suppose a termination not in - I d i or - e d i, but in - e d i. In the western region the 3rd pers. sing. is generally in -ec, probably by analogy with preterites like bec, crec, dec, sec, formed after the Latin type in - u i. Another notable peculiarity, of which Old French shows only rare traces, in texts of a very remote period, is the preservation of a preterite in -ara or -era, derived from the Latin pluperfect, ama ra or ame ra, " I loved." The former, which is rare, comes directly from Lat. a m a r a m, the latter has been influenced by the ordinary preterite in -ei. This preterite is used with the sense of a simple past, not of a pluperfect, and consequently is an exact doublet of the ordinary preterite, which explains how it was at length eliminated almost everywhere by the latter, of which it was a mere synonym. But it remained in general use with the sense of a past conditional: ama ra or ame ra, " I should have loved," fora, " I should have been." 3. Modern Provencal. - In consequence of political circumstances the Provençal ceased to be used for administrative as well as literary purposes about the 15th century, in some places a little sooner, in others later (notably in Beam, where it continued to be written as the language of ordinary use till the 17th, and even in some places till the 18th century). The poems in local dialect composed and printed in the 16th century, and on to. our own day, have no link with the literature of the preceding period. Reduced to the condition of a patois, or popular dialect simply, the idiom experienced somewhat rapid modifications. Any one who should compare the poems of Goudelin of Toulouse (1579-1649) with those of a Toulousain troubadour of the 13th century would be astonished at the changes which the language has undergone. Yet this impression would probably be exaggerated. In order to make a rigorously accurate comparison of the language at the two epochs, it would have to be written in the two cases with the same orthographic system, which it is not. The first writers of Provencal, about the 10th and 11th century, applied to the language the Latin orthography, preserving to each letter, as far as possible, the value given to it in the contemporary pronunciation of Latin. To express certain sounds which did not exist in Latin, or which were not there clearly enough noted, there were introduced little by little, and without regular system, various conventional symbolizations such as lh and nh to symbolize the sound of 1 and n mouillees. From this method of proceeding there resulted an orthographic system somewhat wanting in fixity, but which from its very instability lent itself fairly well to the variations which the pronunciation underwent in time and locality. But, the tradition having been interrupted about the 15th century, those who afterwards by way of pastime attempted composition in the patois formed, each for himself apart, an orthography of which many elements were borrowed from French usage. It is evident that differences already considerable must be exaggerated by the use of two very distinct orthographical systems. Nevertheless, even if we get quit of the illusion which makes us at first sight suppose differences of sound where there are merely different ways of spelling the same sound, we find that between the 14th and 16th centuries the language underwent everywhere, Beam excepted, great modifications both in vocabulary and grammar. The Provençal literature having gradually died out during the 14th century, the vocabulary lost rapidly the greater part of the terms expressing general ideas or abstract conceptions. To supply the place of these, the authors who have written in the patois of the south during the last few centuries have been obliged to borrow from French, modifying at the same time their form, a multitude of vocables which naturally have remained for the most part unintelligible to people who know only the patois. In this case the adoption of foreign words was excusable; but it did not stop here. Little by little, as primary instruction (now compulsory) was diffused, and introduced, first in the towns and afterwards in the villages, certain knowledge of French, words purely French, have been introduced into use in place of the corresponding dialect words. Thus, one hears constantly in Provence pe ro, me. ro, fre.ro, forms adapted from French, instead of paire, maire, fraire, cacha (catsha. =Fr. cacher) instead of . scoundre, &c.
In the phonology, the modifications are of the natural order, and so have nothing revolutionary. The language has developed locally tendencies which certainly already existed during the flourishing period, although the ancient orthography did not recognize them. Of the vowels, a tonic is generally preserved; an in an open syllable becomes o (open) in part of the departments of Aveyron, Lot, Dordogne, Correze, Cantal and south of Haute Loire: gro (g r an u m), mo (m a n u m), po (p a n e m). This nasalized a must have had a particular sound already in O. Pr., for it is qualified in the Donatz Proensals (ed. Stengel, P. 49) as a estreit (= close or narrow a). A feature almost general is the passage of post-tonic a into o: terro, amavo, amado (terra, a m a b a t, a m a t a). In many places, particularly in the east, examples of this change occur as early as the end of the 15th century. But even yet there are a few cantons, notably Montpellier and its neighbourhood, and also Nice, where the ancient post-tonic a is preserved. It is remarkable that the Latin diphthong au, which had become simple o in almost all Romanic lands at the date of the most ancient texts, is to this day preserved with a very distinct diphthongal sound everywhere in the south of France.
In the morphology, the leading feature of modern Provencal is the ever greater simplification of grammatical forms. Not only have the two forms (nominative and objective) in each number, in nouns and adjectives, been reduced to one - this reduction manifested itself in ordinary use already in the 14th century - but in many places there no longer remains any distinction between the singular and the plural. In a great part of the south ieu (e g o) does duty as an objective, me or mi being very restricted in use. In part of Drome it is the other way, mi being substituted in the nominative for ieu, which it has completely displaced. It is perhaps in conjugation that the greatest changes from the older form of the language are seen. Analogy, basing itself upon one or another much used form, has acted with immense force, tending to make general in the whole conjugation, without any regard to the original classes to which the various verbs belonged, certain terminations, chiefly those which were accented, and thus appeared to the popular instinct to have more significance. The result, if the tendency were carried the full length, would be the reduction of all the three conjugations to one. Perhaps before this point is reached the patois of the south will themselves have disappeared. As the endless modifications which the language undergoes, in vocabulary and grammar alike, develop themselves in different directions, and each over an area differently circumscribed, the general aspect of the language becomes more and more confused, without the possibility of grouping the endless varieties within dialectal divisions, there being hardly any case in which a certain number of phonetic or morphological facts present themselves within the same geographical limits. The custom has been adopted of roughly designating these varieties by the name of the ancient provinces in which they appear. Limousin (divided into High and Low Limousin), Marchese, Auvergnese, Gascon, Bearnese, Rouergat, Languedocian, Provençal, &c.; but these divisions, though convenient in use, correspond to no actualities. Nimes and Montpellier are in Languedoc, and Arles and Tarascon are in Provence; nevertheless the dialect of Nimes resembles that of Arles and Tarascon more than that of Montpellier.
For the history of the Provencal in all its varieties there are many more materials than for any other Romanic language, not excepting even Italian or French. The literary texts go back to the 10th or Ilth century (see below). For phonetic purposes many of these texts are of secondary value, because the MSS. in which they have reached us, and several of which, especially for the poetry of the troubadours, are of Italian origin, have altered the original forms to an extent which it is not easy to determine; but we possess a countless number of charters, coutumes, regulations, accounts, registers of taxation, which are worthy of absolute confidence - first, because these documents are in most cases original, and, secondly, because, none of the dialectical varieties having raised itself to the rank of the literary language, as happened in France with the central (Parisian) variety and in Italy with the Florentine, writers never had the temptation to abandon their own idiom for another. For a selection of that kind of documents see P. Meyer, Documents linguistiques du midi de la France (vol. i., 1909, in 8vo, containing the documents of Ain, Basses Alpes, Hautes Alpes, Alpes Maritimes). It is proper to add that Provencal possesses two ancient grammars of the 13th century (the earliest compiled for any Romanic idiom) - the Donatz proensals and Razos de trobar (see below, Provençal Literature). Although very short, especially the second, which is a collection of detached observations, they furnish valuable data. The 14th-century Leys d'amors presents the language in a somewhat artificial state - the written rather than the spoken language.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: 1. Ancient Condition. - There does not exist any comprehensive work upon the Provencal whence to obtain a precise idea of the history of the language at its different epochs. Diez's Grammatik der romanischen Sprachen is still the groundwork. It gives, especially in the 3rd ed. (1869-1872), the last revised by the author, the results of extensive researches conveniently arranged. But Diez had only a slender knowledge of the language in its present state, and in his time phonology had made little progress. The French translation of MM. G. Paris, A. Brachet and Morel-Fatio (Paris, 1873-1876) was to be completed by a supplementary volume, but this expedient had to be abandoned, it having been recognized that what was wanted was not a supplement but a general recast. Meyer-Liibke's Grammatik der romanischen Sprachen (Leipzig, 1890-1899; Fr. trans., with indexes, 1890-1906), though representing a more advanced state of Romance philology, is marred by an unusual number of inaccuracies, and is of little use for the study of Provencal. The "Recherches philologiques sur la langue romane," and "Resume de la grammaire romane," published by Raynouard at the beginning of vol. i. of his Lexique roman (1838), are entirely out of date. The "Tableau sommaire des flexions provencales," published by K. Bartsch, in the Chrestomathie provencale, though much improved in later editions, is incomplete and often erroneous. Better is the introduzione grammaticale to V. Crescini's Manualetto provenzale (2nd ed., 1905). Grandgent's Outline of the Phonology and Morphology of Old Provencal (Boston, 1905) is also to be recommended. But the actual state of our knowledge of ancient Provencal must be sought in a great number of scattered dissertations or monographs, which will be found especially in the Romania, the Revue de la societe pour l'etude des langues romanes, and other periodicals, to which may be added some academic dissertations published mainly in Germany, and the special studies upon the language of particular texts prefixed to editions of these. As to dictionaries, the Lexique roman, ou dictionnaire de la langue des troubadours, by Raynouard (6 vols. 8vo, Paris, 1836-1844), can always be used with advantage. It has been largely supplemented by Professor E. Levy in his Provenzalisches Supplement-WOrterbuch (5 vols., Leipzig, 1892-1910, stops actually at letter P). The numerous special vocabularies appended by editors to texts published by them cannot be neglected. These yield a considerable number of words, either wanting or wrongly explained in the Lexique roman. 2. Modern Form. - The most useful grammatical works (all done with insufficient knowledge of phonology, and under the preconceived idea that there exist dialects with definite circumscription) are J. B. Andrews, Essai de grammaire du dialecte mentonais [[[Mentone]]] (Nice, 1878), see also his "Phonetique mentonaise," in Romania, xii. 394; Cantagrel, "Notes sur l'orthographie et la prononciation languedocienne," prefixed to La Canson de la Lauseto, by A. Mir (Montpellier, 1876); Chabaneau, Grammaire limousine (Paris, 1876), referring especially to the variety of Nontron, in the north of Perigord (Dordogne); Constans, Essai sur l'histoire du sousdialecte du Rouergue (Montpellier and Paris, 1880) .; Lespy, Grammaire béarnaise (2nd ed., Paris, 1880); A. Luchaire, Etudes sur les idiomes pyreneens de la region francaise (Paris, 1879); Moutier, Grammaire dauphinoise, dialecte de la vallee de la Drome (Montelimar, 1882); Ruben, "Etude sur le patois du Haut Limousin," prefixed to Poems by J. Foucaud, in the Limousin patois (Limoges, 1866). Far superior in every respect are Alfred Dauzat's essays on the language of North Auvergne: Phonetique historique du patois de Vinzelles (Paris, 1897), Morphologie du patois de Vinzelles (Paris, 1900), Geographie phonetique d'une region de la Basse Auvergne (Paris, 1906). As to dictionaries, we may mention, among others, Andrews, Vocabulaire francais-mentonais (Nice, 1877); Azais, Dictionnaire des idiomes romans du midi de la France (3 vols. 8vo, Montpellier, 1877), taking for its basis the dialect of Beziers; Chabrand and De Rochas d'Aiglun, Patois des Alpes Cottiennes et en particulier du Queyras (Grenoble and Paris, 1877); Couzinie, Dictionnaire de la langue romane-castraise (Castres, 1850); Garcin, Nouveau dictionnaire provencal francais (2 vols., Draguignan, 1841): Honnorat, Dictionnaire provencal francaise (2 vols. 4to, Digne, 1846-1847), De Sauvages, Dictionnaire languedocien francais (new ed., 2 vols., Alais, 1820); Vayssier, Dictionnaire patois francais du departement de l'Aveyron (Rodez, 1879). F. Mistral's Tresor dou Felibrige, ou dictionnaire Provencal francais (2 vols. 4to, 1880-1888) is the most complete of all. This dictionary takes as its basis the variety of Maillane (in the north of Bouches-du-Rhone), the author's native district, but gives, as far as possible, all the forms used in the south of France. It is by far the best of all the dictionaries of the southern dialects which have yet been published, and, to a great extent, will enable the student to dispense with all the others. (P. M.)